Meaning of phenol in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfiːnɒl/

Translate phenol into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1Chemistry
    A mildly acidic toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar and used in chemical manufacture, and in dilute form (under the name carbolic) as a disinfectant.

    Chemical formula: C₆H₅OH

    ‘Industrially, benzene is used in the manufacture of nylon, phenol, styrene (and by polymerization polystyrene), and cyclohexane.’
    • ‘Believing that not all samples of aniline oil worked consistently, Ziehl substituted phenol (carbolic acid) in its place.’
    • ‘He cited examples of two key raw materials namely phenol and aniline, which are required to manufacture leather chemicals, pigments, dyestuff and rubber chemicals.’
    • ‘But the fungicide, voronate, phenol and possibly ethyl acetate were among the chemicals of greatest concern to the marine environment.’
    • ‘Alternatively, low percentages of chemicals such as phenol, menthol, and camphor can be added to moisturizing lotions for added anti-itch benefit.’
    1. 1.1count noun Any compound with a hydroxyl group linked directly to a benzene ring.
      ‘many of these molecules are phenols’
      • ‘Furfural reacts with phenols, ketones, and esters as an aldehyde; removal of the aldehyde group yields furan, which is converted to tetrahydrofuran, used in the manufacture of nylon.’
      • ‘The warmer operating temperature of ale yeast encourages a faster, more vigorous fermentation that creates aromatic compounds known as phenols and esters.’
      • ‘Sebacic acid can be synthesized from phenols and cresols, but castor oil oxidation is considered a ‘greener’ process.’
      • ‘Anaerobic metabolism of peptides and proteins by the microflora produces short-chain fatty acids and a series of potentially toxic substances including ammonia, amines, phenols, thiols, and indols 32.’
      • ‘Berries are also high in phenols such as ellagic acid, an antioxidant that protects the body's cells.’


Mid 19th century from French phénole, based on phène ‘benzene’.