phosphine

noun

phos·​phine ˈfäs-ˌfēn How to pronounce phosphine (audio)
1
: any of various derivatives of phosphine analogous to amines but weaker as bases
2
: a colorless poisonous flammable gas PH3 that is a weaker base than ammonia and that is used especially to fumigate stored grain

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So, the phosphine discovery is very, very interesting. Mark Zastrow, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2020 Astronomers also recently found evidence of unexpected amounts of phosphine. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2021 Seager worked on a team that explored whether phosphine on Venus could be a sign of life. WIRED, 11 Sep. 2022 These chemicals, such as methyl bromide, ethylene oxide, and phosphine, can cause myriad symptoms, ranging from nausea and skin irritation to seizures and even death. Chris Baraniuk, Wired, 16 July 2022 After the phosphine announcement, the Internet exploded with discussions about the discovery. Katrina Miller, Wired, 14 July 2021 The researchers argued that Venus’ phosphine levels are too high to be geologic in origin. NBC News, 29 June 2021 Some researchers said their own analyses turned up empty for phosphine. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 18 July 2021 Astronomers spotted the chemical signature of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is only associated with life. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of phosphine was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near phosphine

Cite this Entry

“Phosphine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phosphine. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

phosphine

noun
phos·​phine -ˌfēn How to pronounce phosphine (audio)
1
: a colorless poisonous flammable gas PH3 that is a weaker base than ammonia and that is used especially to fumigate stored grain
2
: any of various derivatives of phosphine analogous to amines but weaker as bases

More from Merriam-Webster on phosphine

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