meta-Cresol, also 3-methylphenol, is an organic compound with the formula CH3C6H4(OH). It is a colourless, viscous liquid that is used as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals. It is a derivative of phenol and is an isomer of p-cresol and o-cresol.


m-Cresol is a precursor to numerous compounds. Important examples include:

  • pesticides such as fenitrothion and fenthion
  • synthetic vitamin E by methylation to give the 2,3,6-trimethyphenol
  • antiseptics, such as amylmetacresol
  • a solvent for polymers. For example, polyaniline is cast from a solution of m-cresol to form a polyaniline film with a superior conductivity than polyaniline alone. This phenomenon is known as secondary doping.
  • preservatives in some insulins.
  • the starting point in the total synthesis of thymol, an important synthetic chemical for regions lacking natural sources of the flavor compound:
C7H8O + C3H6 ⇌ C10H14O
  • the synthesis of dicresulene and policresulen.
  • the synthesis of toliprolol, tolamolol & cresatin [122-46-3]
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