Dictionary.com

phenol

[ fee-nawl, -nol ]
/ ˈfi nɔl, -nɒl /
Save This Word!

noun Chemistry.
Also called carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, oxybenzene, phenylic acid. a white, crystalline, water-soluble, poisonous mass, C6H5OH, obtained from coal tar, or a hydroxyl derivative of benzene: used chiefly as a disinfectant, as an antiseptic, and in organic synthesis.
any analogous hydroxyl derivative of benzene.

COMPARE MEANINGS

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of phenol

First recorded in 1850–55; phen(o)- + -ol1

OTHER WORDS FROM phenol

phe·no·lic [fi-noh-lik, -nol-ik], /fɪˈnoʊ lɪk, -ˈnɒl ɪk/, adjectivenon·phe·no·lic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use phenol in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phenol

phenol
/ (ˈfiːnɒl) /

noun
Also called: carbolic acid a white crystalline soluble poisonous acidic derivative of benzene, used as an antiseptic and disinfectant and in the manufacture of resins, nylon, dyes, explosives, and pharmaceuticals; hydroxybenzene. Formula: C 6 H 5 OH
chem any of a class of weakly acidic organic compounds whose molecules contain one or more hydroxyl groups bound directly to a carbon atom in an aromatic ring
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for phenol

phenol
[ fēnôl′, -nōl′ ]

Any of a class of organic compounds that contain a hydroxyl group (OH) attached to a carbon atom that is part of an aromatic ring. Phenols are similar to alcohols but are more soluble in water, and occur as colorless solids or liquids at room temperature. Some phenols occur naturally in the essential oils of plants. Phenols are used in industry to make plastics and detergents.
The simplest phenol, consisting of a benzene ring attached to a hydroxyl group (OH). It is a poisonous, white, crystalline compound and is used to make plastics and drugs. Also called carbolic acid. Chemical formula: C6H6O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK