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What is the hybridization of oxygen in phenol molecule? I assume it is $sp^3$ hybridized because it forms 2 bonds - 1 with benzene, another with hydrogen, as in how oxygen is hybridized in a water molecule - $sp^3$. Now the problem is, my A - level lecturers insist that it is the p orbital of oxygen that overlaps with the delocalised electrons of benzene ring, not $sp^3$. This means that oxygen can either be unhybridized, $sp$, or $sp^2$ hybridized. So which is true?