Definition of indole in English:


Pronunciation /ˈindōl/ /ˈɪndoʊl/


  • A crystalline organic compound with an unpleasant odor, present in coal tar and in feces.

    A heteroaromatic compound with fused benzene and pyrrole rings; chemical formula: C₈H₇N

    ‘For instance, the substance indole, which comes from coal tar and animal feces, actually smells like jasmine at its detection threshold.’
    • ‘The absorbance band is narrowest for 3-methyl indole in pentane.’
    • ‘Members of the family produce latex, diverse iridoids, cardioglycosides, and various alkaloids (notably indole and steroid groups), sometimes cyanogenic, rarely saponiferous.’
    • ‘This result can be explained assuming that the displacement of the cationic indole toward the water pool is not complete.’
    • ‘We previously observed the same rate of scavenging of solvated electrons by protons in ultrafast experiments on indole under conditions of comparable ionic strength.’


Mid 19th century blend of indigo (because obtained artificially from indigo blue) and Latin oleum ‘oil’.