oxygen

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

Definition of oxygen

1 : a chemical element that constitutes 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 oxygen (audio) \ adjective

Examples of oxygen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wearables such as the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy smartwatch, Fitbit and other devices can collect heart and oxygen data, as well as sleep and activity levels. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "90,000 more Americans could die by June, world may never reach herd immunity: Live COVID-19 updates," 21 Feb. 2021 At least 30 Texans have died so far, including a 75-year-old man whose oxygen machine lost power and an 11-year-old boy who may have perished of hypothermia. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Texas’s Power Grid Makes It Unfree," 21 Feb. 2021 One is water electrolysis, the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using a device called an electrolyzer. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, "California wastes its extra solar, wind energy. Could hydrogen be the storage key?," 19 Feb. 2021 When mixed with oxygen in a fuel cell, hydrogen burns clean. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Why all the hoopla about hydrogen?," 19 Feb. 2021 Others, like a 75-year-old man in Crosby, Tex., whose oxygen machine stopped working after his home lost power, have been found dead of hypothermia inside their homes or cars. Washington Post, "An 11-year-old boy died in an unheated Texas mobile home. Authorities suspect hypothermia.," 19 Feb. 2021 Another experiment will test the feasibility of extracting oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, technology that could someday help future astronauts produce their own air and rocket fuel. William Harwood, CBS News, ""Touchdown confirmed!": NASA celebrates as Perseverance rover lands on Mars," 19 Feb. 2021 At the peak of the pandemic, health care systems were overwhelmed, with shortages of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders being reported across the country. Abhishyant Kidangoor, Time, "India's Vaccine Rollout Stumbles as COVID-19 Cases Decline. That's Bad News for the Rest of the World," 19 Feb. 2021 It’s also about rocket propellant, of which oxygen is usually a major component. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars," 18 Feb. 2021

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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oxygen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxygen. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for oxygen

oxygen

noun

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

oxygen

noun
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

oxygen

noun
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 oxygen (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on oxygen

Nglish: Translation of oxygen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oxygen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oxygen

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