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[fee-nawl-thal-een, -ee-in, -fthal-, -nol-] /ˌfi nɔlˈθæl in, -i ɪn, -ˈfθæl-, -nɒl-/
noun, Chemistry, Pharmacology
a white, crystalline compound, C 2 0 H 1 4 O 4 , used as an indicator in acid-base titration and as a laxative.
1870-75; phenol + phthalein Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for phenolphthalein
  • phenolphthalein is a presumptive test that reacts with the heme molecule present in blood.
  • The phenolphthalein test is used to presumptively test for the presence of blood.
  • My question has to do with the preparation of the phenolphthalein indicator.
  • Add one drop phenolphthalein solution to each standard or sample.
British Dictionary definitions for phenolphthalein


/ˌfiːnɒlˈθeɪliːn; -lɪɪn; -ˈθæl-/
a colourless crystalline compound used in medicine as a laxative and in chemistry as an indicator. Formula: C20H14O4
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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phenolphthalein in Medicine

phenolphthalein phe·nol·phthal·ein (fē'nōl-thāl'ēn', -thāl'ē-ĭn, -thā'lēn', -thā'lē-ĭn)
A white or pale yellow crystalline powder that is used as an acid-base indicator and as a laxative.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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phenolphthalein in Science
A white or pale-yellow, crystalline powder used as an indicator for acid and basic solutions. In solutions that are either neutral or basic, it is colorless, while it is pink or red in solutions that are alkali. It is also used as a laxative and in making dyes. Chemical formula: C20H14O4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for phenolphthalein

an organic compound of the phthalein family that is widely employed as an acid-base indicator and as a laxative.

Learn more about phenolphthalein with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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