noun, often attributive
ox·​y·​gen | \ ˈäk-si-jən How to pronounce oxygen (audio) \

Definition of oxygen

1 : a chemical element that constitues 21 percent of the Earth's atmosphere, that is capable of combining with all elements except some noble gases, that is active in physiological processes of almost all known organisms, and that is involved especially in combustion — see Chemical Elements Table
2 : something that sustains or fuels disagreement is the true oxygen of these magazines— Joseph Epstein

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Other Words from oxygen

oxygenless \ ˈäk-​si-​jən-​ləs How to pronounce oxygenless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of oxygen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pratt added four floors, creating more than 50 mountain-view rooms, as well as the aforementioned spa, which houses six treatment rooms, a grotto-sized hot tub, an oxygen bar and a yoga studio and gym. Jane Larkworthy, ELLE Decor, "Snow Pine Lodge Brings a New Level of Luxury to Alta," 28 Mar. 2019 If someone does overdose, for instance, they can be quickly revived with oxygen or naloxone, greatly mitigating the risks. German Lopez, Vox, "A big, new review of the evidence finds that prescription heroin works," 6 Dec. 2018 Deeply hydrating, the 60-minute service begins with an aqua peel and includes a medical-grade collagen mask, and an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial oxygen treatment infused with Vargas's green tea, vitamin, and aloe serum. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Joanna Vargas Opens Up a New Manhattan Spa—Just in Time for the Holidays," 4 Dec. 2018 Fitbit has also upgraded the heart rate sensor for better accuracy and added the same SpO2 (or oxygen saturation) sensor found on its smartwatches. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Fitbit’s Charge 3 adds a better screen, swim tracking, and smartwatch-style features," 20 Aug. 2018 The first part of the Avengers: Endgame trailer finds Iron Man drifting in space and running out of sustenance and oxygen, sort of like The Martian if the Martian were a sad and beat-up Tony Stark. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How the Avengers: Endgame trailer hints that Captain Marvel will save the day (and Iron Man)," 8 Dec. 2018 And liquid oxygen and hydrogen are on the mild end. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 2018 He was told by doctors Natasha had brain damage from the lack of oxygen, major organ failure and her lungs had collapsed and ribs broken from the prolonged CPR on the plane. Fox News, "Teen with severe allergy died after eating baguette with hidden sesame seeds, family claims," 24 Sep. 2018 Filling tires with nitrogen involves filling and purging several times in succession, serially diluting the concentration of oxygen in the tire. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Really Put Nitrogen in Your Car Tires?," 19 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oxygen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oxygen

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oxygen

French oxygène, from Greek oxys, adjective, acidic, literally, sharp + French -gène -gen; akin to Latin acer sharp — more at edge

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Statistics for oxygen

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oxygen

The first known use of oxygen was in 1788

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English Language Learners Definition of oxygen

: a chemical that is found in the air, that has no color, taste, or smell, and that is necessary for life


ox·​y·​gen | \ ˈäk-si-jən How to pronounce oxygen (audio) \

Kids Definition of oxygen

: a chemical element found in the air as a colorless odorless tasteless gas that is necessary for life


ox·​y·​gen | \ ˈäk-si-jən How to pronounce oxygen (audio) \

Medical Definition of oxygen

: a colorless tasteless odorless gaseous element that constitutes 21 percent of the atmosphere and is found in water, in most rocks and minerals, and in numerous organic compounds, that is capable of combining with all elements except the inert gases, that is active in physiological processes, and that is involved especially in combustion processes symbol O — see Chemical Elements Table

Other Words from oxygen

oxygenic \ ˌäk-​si-​ˈjen-​ik How to pronounce oxygenic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on oxygen

Spanish Central: Translation of oxygen

Nglish: Translation of oxygen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oxygen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oxygen

Comments on oxygen

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to move or proceed with twists and turns

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