sulphuric acid
Sulphur Sul"phur, n. [L., better sulfur: cf. F. soufre.] 1. (Chem.) A nonmetallic element occurring naturally in large quantities, either combined as in the sulphides (as pyrites) and sulphates (as gypsum), or native in volcanic regions, in vast beds mixed with gypsum and various earthy materials, from which it is melted out. Symbol S. Atomic weight 32. The specific gravity of ordinary octohedral sulphur is 2.05; of prismatic sulphur, 1.96. [1913 Webster]

Note: It is purified by distillation, and is obtained as a lemon-yellow powder (by sublimation), called flour, or flowers, of sulphur, or in cast sticks called roll sulphur, or brimstone. It burns with a blue flame and a peculiar suffocating odor. It is an ingredient of gunpowder, is used on friction matches, and in medicine (as a laxative and insecticide), but its chief use is in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Sulphur can be obtained in two crystalline modifications, in orthorhombic octahedra, or in monoclinic prisms, the former of which is the more stable at ordinary temperatures. Sulphur is the type, in its chemical relations, of a group of elements, including selenium and tellurium, called collectively the sulphur group, or family. In many respects sulphur resembles oxygen. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of yellow or orange butterflies of the subfamily {Pierin[ae]}; as, the clouded sulphur ({Eurymus philodice} syn. {Colias philodice}), which is the common yellow butterfly of the Eastern United States. [1913 Webster]

{Amorphous sulphur} (Chem.), an elastic variety of sulphur of a resinous appearance, obtained by pouring melted sulphur into water. On standing, it passes back into a brittle crystalline modification.

{Liver of sulphur}. (Old Chem.) See {Hepar}.

{Sulphur acid}. (Chem.) See {Sulphacid}.

{Sulphur alcohol}. (Chem.) See {Mercaptan}.

{Sulphur auratum} [L.] (Old Chem.), a golden yellow powder, consisting of antimonic sulphide, {Sb2S5}, -- formerly a famous nostrum.

{Sulphur base} (Chem.), an alkaline sulphide capable of acting as a base in the formation of sulphur salts according to the old dual theory of salts. [Archaic]

{Sulphur dioxide} (Chem.), a colorless gas, {SO2}, of a pungent, suffocating odor, produced by the burning of sulphur. It is employed chiefly in the production of sulphuric acid, and as a reagent in bleaching; -- called also {sulphurous anhydride}, and formerly {sulphurous acid}.

{Sulphur ether} (Chem.), a sulphide of hydrocarbon radicals, formed like the ordinary ethers, which are oxides, but with sulphur in the place of oxygen.

{Sulphur salt} (Chem.), a salt of a sulphacid; a sulphosalt.

{Sulphur showers}, showers of yellow pollen, resembling sulphur in appearance, often carried from pine forests by the wind to a great distance.

{Sulphur trioxide} (Chem.), a white crystalline solid, {SO3}, obtained by oxidation of sulphur dioxide. It dissolves in water with a hissing noise and the production of heat, forming sulphuric acid, and is employed as a dehydrating agent. Called also {sulphuric anhydride}, and formerly {sulphuric acid}.

{Sulphur whale}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Sulphur-bottom}.

{Vegetable sulphur} (Bot.), lycopodium powder. See under {Lycopodium}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Sulphuric acid — Sulphuric Sul*phu ric, a. [Cf. F. sulfurique.] 1. Of or pertaining to sulphur; as, a sulphuric smell. [1913 Webster] 2. (Chem.) Derived from, or containing, sulphur; specifically, designating those compounds in which the element has a higher… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sulphuric acid — ► NOUN ▪ a strong acid made by oxidizing solutions of sulphur dioxide …   English terms dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — [[t]sʌlfjʊ͟ərɪk æ̱sɪd[/t]] N UNCOUNT Sulphuric acid is a colourless, oily, and very powerful acid. (in AM, use sulfuric acid) …   English dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — noun (H2SO4) a highly corrosive acid made from sulfur dioxide; widely used in the chemical industry • Syn: ↑vitriol, ↑oil of vitriol, ↑sulfuric acid • Derivationally related forms: ↑vitriolic (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — a powerful corrosive acid, H2SO4, widely used in industry. Swallowing the acid causes severe burning of the mouth and throat and difficulty in breathing, speaking, and swallowing. The patient should drink large quantities of milk or water or… …   Medical dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — sul|phu|ric ac|id BrE sulfuric acid AmE [sʌlˌfjuərık ˈæsıd US ˌfjur ] n [U] a powerful acid …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sulphuric acid — strong acid that attacks organic compounds, acid used in refining and industry …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — BrE, sulfuric acid AmE noun (U) a powerful acid …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • sulphuric acid — a powerful corrosive acid, H2SO4, widely used in industry. Swallowing the acid causes severe burning of the mouth and throat and difficulty in breathing, speaking, and swallowing. The patient should drink large quantities of milk or water or… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — /sʌlˌfjurɪk ˈæsəd/ (say sul.fyoohrik asuhd) noun the dibasic acid of sulphur, H2SO4, a colourless, corrosive, oily liquid, made from sulphur trioxide and used in many industrial processes; oil of vitriol. Also, sulfuric acid …   Australian English dictionary

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