One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chlorinated organophosphate compound that is a cholinesterase inhibitor, used as an agricultural insecticide, in the medical and veterinary treatment of various parasitic (especially helminthic) infections, and in the experimental treatment of certain forms of dementia; dimethyl (2,2,2-trichloro-1-hydroxyethyl) phosphonate, C₄H₈Cl₃O₄P.
1960s. From me- + tri- (in trichlor-) + -fonate.
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