One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A crystalline organic compound with an unpleasant odor, present in coal tar and in feces.
- ‘Members of the family produce latex, diverse iridoids, cardioglycosides, and various alkaloids (notably indole and steroid groups), sometimes cyanogenic, rarely saponiferous.’
- ‘For instance, the substance indole, which comes from coal tar and animal feces, actually smells like jasmine at its detection threshold.’
- ‘The absorbance band is narrowest for 3-methyl indole in pentane.’
- ‘We previously observed the same rate of scavenging of solvated electrons by protons in ultrafast experiments on indole under conditions of comparable ionic strength.’
- ‘This result can be explained assuming that the displacement of the cationic indole toward the water pool is not complete.’
Mid 19th century: blend of indigo (because obtained artificially from indigo blue) and Latin oleum ‘oil’.
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