[ fos-jeen, foz- ]
/ ˈfɒs dʒin, ˈfɒz- /

noun Chemistry.

a poisonous, colorless, very volatile liquid or suffocating gas, COCl2, a chemical-warfare compound: used chiefly in organic synthesis.

Origin of phosgene

1805–15; < Greek phôs light (contraction of pháos) + -genēs -gen
Also called carbon oxychloride, carbonyl chloride, chloroformyl chloride. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for phosgene

British Dictionary definitions for phosgene

/ (ˈfɒzdʒiːn) /


a colourless easily liquefied poisonous gas, carbonyl chloride, with an odour resembling that of new-mown hay: used in chemical warfare as a lethal choking agent and in the manufacture of pesticides, dyes, and polyurethane resins. Formula: COCl 2

Word Origin for phosgene

C19: from Greek phōs light + -gene, variant of -gen
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

Medical definitions for phosgene

[ fŏsjēn′, fŏz- ]


A colorless volatile liquid or gas used as a poison gas and in making dyes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for phosgene

[ fŏsjēn′ ]

A colorless, volatile gas that has the odor of freshly mowed hay. When it reacts with water (as in the lungs during respiration), phosgene produces hydrochloric acid and carbon monoxide. It is used in making glass, dyes, resins, and plastics, and was used as a poisonous gas during World War I. Also called carbonyl chloride. Chemical formula: COCl2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.