Definition of phlogiston in English:

phlogiston

Syllabification: phlo·gis·ton
Pronunciation: /flōˈjistän, -tən
 
/

noun

  • A substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to exist in all combustible bodies, and to be released in combustion.
    More example sentences
    • In the phlogiston theory, phlogiston is released during combustion, and in the oxygen theory, oxygen is absorbed during combustion.
    • According to the phlogiston theory, combustible materials contain a substance - phlogiston - that is emitted by the material as it burns.
    • Biologists used to believe in the inheritance of acquired characteristics, chemists in phlogiston, physicists in absolute (pre-relativity) time.

Origin

mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek phlogizein 'set on fire', from phlox, phlog- 'flame', from the base of phlegein 'to burn'.

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