Definition of indole in English:



mass nounChemistry
  • A crystalline organic compound with an unpleasant odour, present in coal tar and in faeces.

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For instance, the substance indole, which comes from coal tar and animal feces, actually smells like jasmine at its detection threshold.’


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