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1. any organic compound containing the hydroxy (-OH) functional group except those in which the OH group is attached to an aromatic ring, which are called phenols. Alcohols are classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary according to whether the carbon atom to which the OH group is attached is bonded to one, two, or three other carbon atoms and as monohydric, dihydric, or trihydric according to whether they contain one, two, or three OH groups; the latter two are called diols and triols, respectively.
2. an official preparation of ethanol, used as a disinfectant, solvent, and preservative, and applied topically as a rubbing compound, disinfectant, astringent, hemostatic, and coolant.
absolute alcohol dehydrated a.
benzyl alcohol a colorless liquid used as a bacteriostatic in solutions for injection and as a topical local anesthetic.
dehydrated alcohol an extremely hygroscopic, transparent, colorless, volatile liquid used as a solvent and injected into nerves and ganglia for relief of pain. Called also absolute a.
denatured alcohol ethanol made unfit for human consumption by the addition of substances known as denaturants. Although it should never be taken internally, denatured alcohol is widely used on the skin as a disinfectant.
ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol) ethanol.
isopropyl alcohol a transparent, volatile colorless liquid used as a solvent and disinfectant and applied topically as an antiseptic; called also isopropanol. Diluted with water to approximately 70 per cent strength, it is called isopropyl rubbing alcohol and is used as a rubbing compound.
methyl alcohol methanol.
phenethyl alcohol (phenylethyl alcohol) a colorless liquid used as an antimicrobial agent in pharmaceuticals.
rubbing alcohol a preparation of acetone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and ethanol, used as a rubefacient.
wood alcohol methanol.
i·so·pro·pyl al·co·hol(ī'sō-prō'pil al'kō-hōl),
An isomer of propyl alcohol and a homologue of ethyl alcohol, similar in its properties, when used externally, to the latter, but more toxic when taken internally; used as an ingredient of various cosmetics and of medicinal preparations for external use; also available as isopropyl rubbing alcohol, which contains 68 to 72% of isopropyl alcohol (by volume) in water; used as a rubefacient.