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Definition of Phenol

Phenol: 1. A poisonous corrosive compound obtained by the distillation of coal tar that, in dilute solution, is an antimicrobial agent. Also called carbolic acid. 2. A generic term for any compound similar in structure to phenol (an organic compound with one or more hydroxyl groups attached to an aromatic or carbon ring).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22425
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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