Definition of phenyl in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfɛnɪl//ˈfiːnʌɪl/


  • [as modifier] Of or denoting the radical —C6H5, derived from benzene by removal of a hydrogen atom:

    ‘a phenyl group’
    • ‘Polychlorinated biphenyls are a family of 209 congeners with 2 linked phenyl rings and variable chlorination.’
    • ‘Benzamidine bound to trypsin has a buried positively charged amidinium group and a more solvent-accessible nonpolar phenyl ring.’
    • ‘The long hydrophobic tail of vinyl butyrate was placed along the hydrophobic cleft of the active site, while the bulky phenyl ring was fitted on the opposite side.’
    • ‘The composition of peptides was determined by amino acid analysis using the phenyl isothiocyanate method.’
    • ‘We also varied the end group of the trichlorosilyl surfactant, using an amine, vinyl, bromo, or phenyl group to provide other surfaces of differing hydrophobicity.’


Mid 19th century: from French phényle, from Greek phaino- shining (because first used in names of compounds denoting by-products of the manufacture of gas used for illumination).