Phe"nol(?), n. [Gr. to show + -ol: cf. F. phnol.] (Chem.) 1. A white or pinkish crystalline substance, C6H5OH, produced by the destructive distillation of many organic bodies, as wood, coal, etc., and obtained from the heavy oil from coal tar.
It has a peculiar odor, somewhat resembling creosote, which is a complex mixture of phenol derivatives. It is of the type of alcohols, and is called also
phenyl alcohol, but has acid properties, and hence is popularly called
carbolic acid, and was formerly called
phenic acid. It is a powerful caustic poison, and in dilute solution has been used as an antiseptic.
2. Any one of the series of hydroxyl derivatives of which phenol proper is the type.
(Chem.), pure crystallized phenol or carbolic acid. --
(Chem.), any one of a series of compounds which are at once derivatives of both phenol and some member of the fatty acid series; thus, salicylic acid is a phenol acid. --
(Chem.), any one of series of derivatives of phenol and carbinol which have the properties of both combined; thus, saligenin is a phenol alcohol. --
(Chem.), any one of a series of compounds having both phenol and aldehyde properties. --
Phenol phthalein. See under Phthalein.
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