in·​dole | \ ˈin-ˌdōl How to pronounce indole (audio) \

Definition of indole

: a crystalline alkaloid compound C8H7N that is a decomposition product of proteins containing tryptophan, that can be made synthetically, and that is used in perfumes also : a derivative of indole

Examples of indole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is in part the work of indole, an aromatic compound present in foul-smelling substances like coal tar and feces, which in trace amounts gives the most delicate of flowers an almost animal opulence. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 In fact, the flower produces dimethyl trisulfide (also found in Limburger cheese and cabbage), trimethylamine (normally released by rotting fish and animals), isovaleric acid (a major component of foot odor) and indole (found in human feces). Karl J. P. Smith, Scientific American, 29 July 2016 Like jasmine and gardenia, the flower’s aroma has an under-funk of indole, a molecule that’s also present in (sorry) feces. April Long, Town & Country, 13 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of indole

1869, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indole

International Scientific Vocabulary ind- + -ole

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Dictionary Entries Near indole



indoleacetic acid

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Cite this Entry

“Indole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for indole


in·​dole | \ ˈin-ˌdōl How to pronounce indole (audio) \

Medical Definition of indole

: a crystalline compound C8H7N that is found along with skatole in the intestines and feces as a decomposition product of proteins containing tryptophan and that can be made synthetically also : a derivative of indole

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