The chemical element of atomic number 15, a poisonous, combustible nonmetal that exists in two common allotropic forms, white phosphorus, a yellowish waxy solid that ignites spontaneously in air and glows in the dark, and red phosphorus, a less reactive form used in making matches. (Symbol: P)
More example sentences
- Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and boron have been found to be important in Zambia.
- Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are the major minerals that make up bones.
- When the mix is placed in soil and watered, it starts a chemical reaction that frees phosphorus that plants can use.
late 17th century: from Latin, from Greek phōsphoros, from phōs 'light' + -phoros '-bringing'.
See phosphorous (usage).
Definition of phosphorus in:
- The British & World English dictionary