phos·pho·rous | \ˈfäs-f(ə-)rəs; fäs-ˈfȯr-əs \

Definition of phosphorous 

: of, relating to, or containing phosphorus especially with a valence lower than in phosphoric compounds

Examples of phosphorous in a Sentence

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European scientists have been looking for ways to reclaim phosphorous from animal and human waste. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "A&M cotton research could open new front in war on weeds," 5 July 2018 That white tip of theirs is the potassium chlorate, an easy-to-trigger oxidizing agent, that pumps oxygen into the reaction of the red portion, phosphorous, and allows it to burn the sulfur as fuel. Sam Eifling, Popular Mechanics, "How To Light a Match With Nothing But Other Matches," 28 Apr. 2016 And more intense rainstorms, also conclusively linked to climate change, can wash more nutrients into lakes and reservoirs, especially from farms where nitrogen and phosphorous-rich fertilizers are used, Chapra said. Tom James,, "Warming drives spread of toxic algae in U.S., researchers say," 22 June 2018 Overall, the foundation said states are reducing enough phosphorous and sediment pollution. Washington Post, "Report: Chesapeake Bay improving but huge challenges remain," 30 May 2018 On most days, mortar crews at the outpost lob dozens of rounds of high explosives and white-phosphorous smoke into the mountains, either to kill Islamic State fighters or just to discourage them from settling in. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "Green Berets Brace for Islamic State Offensive in Afghanistan," 15 May 2018 And last year, a woman relaxing by the Elbe river in Hamburg found herself on fire thanks to World War II-era white phosphorous. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Long-Lost Nazi U-Boat Finally Found," 20 Apr. 2018 Suggestions include digging in high phosphorous fertilizers through the tree's root zone. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Spruce bark beetles are back with a vengeance. Here’s how to defend your trees.," 19 Apr. 2018 That process removes even more nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater discharge than other treatment methods, according to MDE’s website. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Mountain Christian Church seeks approval for wastewater treatment facility," 9 May 2018

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

1788, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of phosphorous was in 1788

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phos·pho·rous | \ˈfäs-f(ə-)rəs; fäs-ˈfōr-əs, -ˈfȯr- \

Medical Definition of phosphorous 

: of, relating to, or containing phosphorus especially with a valence lower than in phosphoric compounds

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Comments on phosphorous

What made you want to look up phosphorous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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