1835, from Ger. kreosot, coined 1832 by its discoverer, German-born natural philosopher Carl Ludwig, Baron Reichenbach (17881869) from Gk. kreo-, comb. form of kreas "flesh" + soter "preserver," from soizein "save, preserve." So called because it was used as an antiseptic.
A yellow or brown oily liquid obtained from coal tar and used as a wood preservative and disinfectant.
A colorless to yellowish oily liquid containing phenols, obtained by the destructive distillation of wood tar, especially from the wood of a beech, and formerly used as an expectorant in treating chronic bronchitis.