Creosote is a yellowish, poisonous, oily liquid obtained from the distillation of coal tar. Crude creosote oil (also known as dead oil or pitch oil) is used mostly as a wood preserviative and is used in things such as railroad ties, fence posts, telephone poles, marine pilings, and higher-cost lumber sold for outdoor use.

Cre"o*sote (kr?"?-s?t), n. [Gr. , gen. , flesh + to preserve.] Chem.

Wood-tar oil; an oily antiseptic liquid, of a burning smoky taste, colorless when pure, but usually colored yellow or brown by impurity or exposure. It is a complex mixture of various phenols and their ethers, and is obtained by the distillation of wood tar, especially that of beechwood.

⇒ It is remarkable as an antiseptic and deodorizer in the preservation of wood, flesh, etc., and in the prevention of putrefaction; but it is a poor germicide, and in this respect has been overrated. Smoked meat, as ham, owes its preservation and taste to a small quantity of creosote absorbed from the smoke to which it is exposed. Carbolic acid is phenol proper, while creosote is a mixture of several phenols.

Coal-tar creosote Chem., a colorless or yellow, oily liquid, obtained in the distillation of coal tar, and resembling wood-tar oil, or creosote proper, in composition and properties.


© Webster 1913.

Cre"o*sote, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Creosoted (-s?"t?d); p. pr. & vb. n. Creosoting.]

To saturate or impregnate with creosote, as timber, for the prevention of decay.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.