One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
†(a) Phthalic anhydride. Obsolete. (b) A lactone, C₆H₄(CH₂)(CO)O, obtainable by the reduction of phthalic anhydride.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry Watts (1815–1884), chemist. From phthal- + -ide. Compare French phtalide.
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