phos·​phor | \ ˈfäs-fər How to pronounce phosphor (audio) , -ˌfȯr \
variants: or less commonly phosphore \ ˈfäs-​ˌfȯr How to pronounce phosphor (audio) , -​fər \

Definition of phosphor

1 : a phosphorescent substance
2 : a luminescent substance that emits light when excited by radiation (such as electrons) and is used especially in fluorescent lamps and cathode-ray tubes

Examples of phosphor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Elbit’s latest device uses white phosphor instead, producing black and white images, which officers say creates more contrast and greater clarity at night. Washington Post, 24 May 2021 The same works with a laser but, because its light is so intense—1,000 times brighter than an LED—the phosphor filter burns out immediately. The Economist, 4 Jan. 2020 All these games were designed for standard-definition CRTs, where the inherent blur of scanlines and phosphors helped smooth out rough edges. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 27 Nov. 2018 The Arcade filter leaves off the scanlines and instead adds a shadow mask effect, simulating the RGB phosphors of an arcade monitor. Aurich Lawson, Ars Technica, 29 May 2018 The devices use an electromagnet to excite a phosphor coating, which creates visible light. Andy Rosen,, 14 Mar. 2018 On top of that purple LED is a collection of metals called a phosphor. Sophia Chen, WIRED, 10 Aug. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phosphor.' 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 phosphor

1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phosphor

Latin phosphorus, from Greek phōsphoros, literally, light bringer, from phōsphoros light-bearing, from phōs light + pherein to carry, bring — more at fancy, bear

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Time Traveler for phosphor

Time Traveler

The first known use of phosphor was in 1706

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Dictionary Entries Near phosphor



phosphoramidic acid

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Cite this Entry

“Phosphor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for phosphor


phos·​phor | \ ˈfäs-fər, -ˌfȯ(ə)r How to pronounce phosphor (audio) \
variants: also phosphore \ -​ˌfō(ə)r, -​ˌfȯ(ə)r, -​fər How to pronounce phosphor (audio) \

Medical Definition of phosphor

: a phosphorescent substance specifically : a substance that emits light when excited by radiation

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