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[fen-l, feen-l]
adjective Chemistry.
  1. containing the phenyl group.
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Origin of phenyl

First recorded in 1840–50; phen- + -yl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phenyl

Historical Examples

  • He is much excited during this semi-sleeping state, and repeats continually, "Phenyl, phenyl."

    Dream Psychology

    Sigmund Freud

  • Phenyl derivatives of simple amines are sometimes found in plants.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life

    Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher

  • Aniline is sometimes so named on account of its relation to the phenyl series.

  • Another portion of the solution gave a slight precipitate with phenyl hydrazine in the cold.

  • The first of these is benzyl chloride, the second benzal chloride, and the third benzotrichloride or phenyl chloroform.


    Raphael Meldola

British Dictionary definitions for phenyl


  1. (modifier) of, containing, or consisting of the monovalent group C 6 H 5, derived from benzenea phenyl group or radical
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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

Word Origin and History for phenyl


radical base of phenol, 1850, from French phényle; see pheno-.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phenyl in Medicine


  1. The univalent radical of phenol.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

phenyl in Science


[fĕnəl, fēnəl]
  1. The radical C6H5, derived from benzene by the removal of one hydrogen atom.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.