Meaning of phenol coefficient

phe'nol coeffi'cient

Pronunciation: [key]
— Chem. Chem.
  1. the number indicating the effectiveness of a disinfectant as a germicide relative to phenol, which is arbitrarily assigned the number 1: based on the time required to kill a given quantity of a specific type of bacteria.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.