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litmus Line breaks: lit¦mus
Pronunciation: /ˈlɪtməs/

Definition of litmus in English:


[mass noun]
A dye obtained from certain lichens that is red under acid conditions and blue under alkaline conditions.
Example sentences
  • In the presence of a basic solution, litmus will lose hydronium ions and turn blue.
  • During the 1660s, Robert Boyle discovered that certain plant extracts, such as litmus, can be used to distinguish acids from bases.


Middle English: from Old Norse lit-mosi, from litr 'dye' + mosi 'moss'.

Definition of litmus in:
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