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a white crystalline substance with an aromatic odour, obtained from the oil of thyme and used as a fungicide, antiseptic, and anthelmintic and in perfumery and embalming; 2-isopropylphenol. Formula: (CH3)2CHC6H3(CH3)OH
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(5-methyl–2-isopropyl-l-phenol), a colorless crystalline substance with a specific odor and sharp taste; soluble in organic solvents but not in water. Melting point, 51.5°C; boiling point, 232.9°C.

Thymol exhibits all the reactions characteristic of phenols. It is found in certain essential oils, such as thyme oil (from Thymus vulgaris, from which it takes its name), in which its content is 20–50 percent, and thyme, from which it may be separated by rectification.

Thymol is produced on an industrial scale by the reaction of m-cresol, CH3C6H4OH, with propylene, CH3—CH═CH2. It is used as a raw material in the production of menthol and such indicators as thymolphthalein and thymol blue. It is used in medicine as an anthelmintic in the treatment of ancylostomiasis, trichuriasis, and some other helminthiases, as an antiseptic for the mouth, throat, and nasopharynx, in dentristry to anesthetize dentin, and in the pharmaceutical industry as a preservative. The use of thymol as an anthelmintic is contraindicated in cases of pregnancy, cardiac insufficiency, liver and kidney diseases, and peptic ulcer.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(organic chemistry)
C10H14O A naturally occurring crystalline phenol obtained from thyme or thyme oil, melting at 515°C; used to kill parasites in herbaria, to preserve anatomical specimens, and in medicine as a topical antifungal agent. Also known as thyme camphor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.