Definition of carbolic acid in US English:

carbolic acid


  • Phenol, especially when used as a disinfectant.

    • ‘It wasn't quite the same as when I trained and worked in hospital, when everything was cleaned with carbolic and a hospital smelled of hospital.’
    • ‘If you warm it up, Bakelite smells of the carbolic acid and formaldehyde that goes into its making.’
    • ‘It was obviously impossible to kill microbes in the wound by means of heat as Pasteur had shown in his experiments, so Lister developed chemical methods to destroy the bacteria, initially carbolic acid.’
    • ‘They knew how disease was contracted and spread and how to disinfect surgical instruments and wounds with carbolic acid.’
    • ‘As a butcher and farmer, Garrett would have handled carbolic acid regularly as a disinfectant.’


carbolic acid

/kärˈbälik ˈasəd/