phe·​nol | \ ˈfē-ˌnōl How to pronounce phenol (audio) , -ˌnȯl; fi-ˈnōl, -ˈnȯl How to pronounce phenol (audio) \

Definition of phenol

1 : a corrosive poisonous crystalline acidic compound C6H5OH present in the tars of coal and wood that in dilute solution is used as a disinfectant
2 : any of various acidic compounds analogous to phenol and regarded as hydroxyl derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons

Examples of phenol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Recovery time is brutal, and after a phenol peel, your skin crusts over and peels off over the course of about 10 days. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: Acids for Skin Care Ingredient Guide," 19 Nov. 2020 While scientists quickly excluded volcanic activity as the cause of the marine die-off, samples taken at Khalaktyrskiy Beach found that levels of phenol, iron, oil products, phosphate ions, and mercury were several times higher than normal. National Geographic, "Massive marine die-off in Russia could threaten endangered sea otters, other vulnerable species," 16 Oct. 2020 Initial probes showed that levels of phenol, a substance often used as antiseptic or disinfectant, were 2.5 times higher than normal, and petroleum levels 3.6 times higher. Mary Ilyushina, CNN, "A suspected toxic spill in Russia's Far East has killed 95% of marine life on the seabed," 7 Oct. 2020 The Russian branch of Greenpeace said tests conducted on water samples from Khalaktyrsky Beach showed petroleum levels four times higher than usual, and phenol levels were also 2.5 times higher. Washington Post, "In Russia’s Far East, suspected oil leak blamed for killing octopi, sickening surfers," 5 Oct. 2020 More than 60,000 people were killed there by being given lethal injections of gasoline or phenol directly to their hearts, shot or starved. David Rising, Star Tribune, "Appeals of Nazi camp guard conviction in Germany dropped," 10 Aug. 2020 The phenols in Moroccan oil maintain scalp health and help to balance the pH levels, which can combat oil, explains Dr. Jaliman. Brittany Loggins,, "What Are the Benefits of Moroccan Oil—and How Should You Be Using It?," 2 Apr. 2020 Hassell points out that part of the reason for wine's potential to boost health has to do with the natural phenol and polyphenol compounds found in wine. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Portland doctors offer the wine industry a moderate proposal when it comes to health," 29 Feb. 2020 When chlorine is combined with phenols, which are chemicals that are both naturally-occurring in water and exist in pharmaceuticals and personal care products, the mixture produces disinfection byproducts. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Tap water treated with chlorine may produce toxic carcinogens, study suggests," 3 Feb. 2020

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

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First Known Use of phenol

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phenol

International Scientific Vocabulary phen- + -ol entry 3

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Time Traveler for phenol

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The first known use of phenol was in 1849

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Statistics for phenol

Last Updated

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phenol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for phenol


phe·​nol | \ ˈfē-ˌnōl How to pronounce phenol (audio) , -ˌnȯl How to pronounce phenol (audio) , fi-ˈ \

Medical Definition of phenol

1 : a corrosive poisonous crystalline acidic compound C6H5OH present in coal tar and wood tar that is used in the manufacture of resins and plastics, dyes, and pharmaceuticals (as aspirin) and as a topical anesthetic in dilute solution

called also carbolic, carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene

2 : any of various acidic compounds analogous to phenol and regarded as hydroxyl derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons

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