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(organic chemistry)
C9H6O2 The anhydride of o-coumaric acid; a toxic, white, crystalline lactone found in many plants and made synthetically; used in making perfume and soap. Also known as 1,2-benzopyrone.



a lactone of o-coumarinic acid; colorless crystals with an odor of new-mown hay. Melting point, 70°C; boiling point, 291°C. It has the following structural formula:

Coumarin is readily soluble in alcohol and ether and poorly soluble in water. It occurs in glucoside form in many plant species, for example, in sweet clover and sweet grass. Coumarin is industrially prepared from salicylic aldehyde and acetic anhydride. It serves as an odor-enhancing substance in the tobacco and perfume industries.