phosphorus
noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: New Latin, from Greek phōsphoros light-bearing — more at phosphor Date: 1645 1. a phosphorescent substance or body; especially one that shines or glows in the dark 2. (also phosphorous) a nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs widely especially as phosphates — see element table

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Phosphorus — Phos phor*us (f[o^]s f[o^]r*[u^]s), n.; pl. {Phosphori} (f[o^]s f[o^]r*[imac]). [L., the morning star, Gr. fwsfo ros, lit., light bringer; fw^s light + fe rein to bring.] 1. The morning star; Phosphor. [1913 Webster] 2. (Chem.) A poisonous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phosphorus — phosphorus, phosphorous Phosphorus is the noun for the chemical element, and phosphorous is the adjective meaning ‘containing phosphorus’ …   Modern English usage

  • phosphorus — [fäs′fə rəs] n. [ModL < L Phosphorus, morning star < Gr phōsphoros, bringer of light < phōs, a light, contr. < phaos < IE base * bhā , to shine > Gr phainein, to show (> FANTASY) + PHOR(O)US] 1. Archaic any phosphorescent… …   English World dictionary

  • phosphorus — substance or organism that shines of itself, 1640s, from L. phosphorus light bringing, also the morning star (a sense attested in English from 1620), from Gk. Phosphoros morning star, lit. torchbearer, from phos light (related to phainein to show …   Etymology dictionary

  • phosphorus — ► NOUN ▪ a poisonous non metallic chemical element existing as a yellowish waxy solid which ignites spontaneously in air and glows in the dark, and as a less reactive form used in making matches. DERIVATIVES phosphorous adjective. USAGE The… …   English terms dictionary

  • phosphorus — Symbol: P Atomic number: 15 Atomic weight: 30.9738 Non metallic element belonging to group 15 of the periodic table. Has a multiple allotropic forms. Essential element for living organisms. It was discovered by Brandt in 1669 …   Elements of periodic system

  • Phosphorus — This article is about the chemical element. For other uses, see Phosphorus (disambiguation). silicon ← phosphorus → sulfur …   Wikipedia

  • phosphorus — /fos feuhr euhs/, n., pl. phosphori / feuh ruy /. 1. Chem. a solid, nonmetallic element existing in at least three allotropic forms, one that is yellow, poisonous, flammable, and luminous in the dark, one that is red, less poisonous, and less… …   Universalium

  • Phosphorus — /fos feuhr euhs/, n. Phosphor. * * * Nonmetallic chemical element, chemical symbol P, atomic number 15. The ordinary allotrope, called white phosphorus, is a poisonous, colourless, semitransparent, soft, waxy solid that glows in the dark (see… …   Universalium

  • Phosphorus — An essential element in the diet and a major component of bone. * * * A nonmetallic chemical element, atomic no. 15, atomic wt. 30.973762, occurring extensively in nature always in combination as phosphates, phosphites, etc., and as the phosphate …   Medical dictionary

  • phosphorus — [17] Etymologically, phosphorus means ‘bringing light’. The word comes via Latin phōsphorus from Greek phōsphóros, a compound adjective formed from phōs ‘light’ and the suffix phóros ‘carrying’ (a relative of English bear), which was used as an… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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