Definition of Phosphorus

1. Noun. A multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells; is highly reactive and occurs in several allotropic forms.

Exact synonyms: Atomic Number 15, P
Generic synonyms: Chemical Element, Element
Substance meronyms: Apatite
Derivative terms: Phosphoric, Phosphorous

2. Noun. A planet (usually Venus) seen just before sunrise in the eastern sky.
Exact synonyms: Daystar, Lucifer, Morning Star
Generic synonyms: Major Planet, Planet

Definition of Phosphorus

1. n. The morning star; Phosphor.

Definition of Phosphorus

1. Proper noun. A name sometimes used for Hesperus, the personification in Greek mythology of the planet Venus. ¹

2. Proper noun. An ancient Greek name for the morning star (the planet Venus when it is visible in the eastern sky before sunrise). ¹

3. Noun. (chemistry) a chemical element (''symbol'' P) with an atomic number of 15, that exists in several allotropic forms. ¹

4. Noun. (obsolete) any substance exhibiting phosphorescence; a phosphor ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Phosphorus

1. [n -RI or -RUSES]

Medical Definition of Phosphorus

1. Origin: L, the morning star, Gr, lit, light bringer; light + to bring. 1. The morning star; Phosphor. 2. A poisonous nonmetallic element of the nitrogen group, obtained as a white, or yellowish, translucent waxy substance, having a characteristic disagreeable smell. It is very active chemically, must be preserved under water, and unites with oxygen even at ordinary temperatures, giving a faint glow, whence its name. It always occurs compined, usually in phosphates, as in the mineral apatite, in bones, etc. It is used in the composition on the tips of friction matches, and for many other purposes. The molecule contains four atoms. Symbol P. Atomic weight 31.0. 3. Hence, any substance which shines in the dark like phosphorus, as certain phosphorescent bodies. Bologna phosphorus, phosphorescent substances which shine in the dark after exposure to the sunlight or other intense light. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Phosphorus Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Phosphorus

phosphorous acid
phosphorous acids
phosphorus (current term)
phosphorus-oxygen lyases
phosphorus acids
phosphorus bottle
phosphorus cachexia
phosphorus compounds
phosphorus isotopes
phosphorus match
phosphorus metabolism disorders
phosphorus necrosis
phosphorus oxynitride
phosphorus paste

Literary usage of Phosphorus

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Journal by Iron and Steel Institute (1889)
"Proportion of Ash and phosphorus in Charcoal.—As the superiority of Swedish irons depends largely on the small amount of phosphorus they contain, ..."

2. Analytical Chemistry by Frederick Pearson Treadwell (1921)
"phosphorus is found in nature only in the form of phosphates, of which calcium ... A very interesting occurrence of phosphorus is pyromorphite (cf. p. ..."

3. American Druggist (1890)
"Amorphous phosphorus. MR. ALEXANDER PEDLER has made an exhaustive study of the ... The experiment has been tried with the same sample of phosphorus four ..."

4. Journal of the American Chemical Society by American Chemical Society (1912)
"In the research upon silver phosphate some uncertainty was introduced by the fact that the salt contains only 7.7% of phosphorus, so that the percentage ..."

5. A Manual of Pharmacology and Its Applications to Therapeutics and Toxicology by Torald Hermann Sollmann (1922)
"phosphorus General Statement.—phosphorus produces severe acute poisoning, ... phosphorus acts as such: its actions are not shared by any of its compounds, ..."

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