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creosote (n.)

substance prepared from wood-tar, 1835, from German Kreosot, coined 1832 by its discoverer, German-born natural philosopher Carl Ludwig, Baron Reichenbach, from Greek kreo-, combining form of kreas "flesh" (from PIE root *kreue- "raw flesh") + soter "preserver," from soizein "save, preserve" (perhaps from PIE root *teue- "to swell"). So called because it was used as an antiseptic and to preserve meat. The creosote-bush (1851) is so called for its smell.

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