Acidic & Basic Nature of Phenols

Acidic Nature

Phenols are much more acidic than alcohols. Since phenols are acidic in nature, they are soluble in dilute sodium hydroxide.

Resonance of Phenoxide Ion

The greater acidity of phenols can be attributed to the resonance stablisation of the phenoxide ion. The delocalisation of the negative charge over the benzene ring stabilises the phenoxide ion. No such stabilisation is possible, in case of alkoxide ions.

Basic Nature

Phenols behave as weak bases also. Similar to alcohols, they can also be protonated to give phenyloxonium ion.