One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a series of organic dyes produced by replacing the oxygen atom of one of the C=O groups of phthalic anhydride by two (substituted) phenyl groups. Frequently attributive, especially in "phthalein dye".
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society. From phthal- + -ein, after German Phtaleïn.
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