: a nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family with atomic number 15 that occurs widely in combination especially as phosphates, that is essential for life in all known organisms, and that is used especially in fertilizers and organophosphorus compounds see Chemical Elements Table
Examples of phosphorus in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the WebResidents speculated that the phosphorus was meant to displace them from the village and to clear the way for future Israeli military activity in the area.—Meg Kelly, Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2023 First isolated by a German alchemist in the 1600s, phosphorus today is an essential ingredient in fertilizers; without it, millions would go hungry.—Bridget Alex, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2023 To solve this problem, Marshall found a creative solution by giving all the figures in her sculpture that represent phosphorus a long ponytail to form the necessary fifth connection point.—Eva Amsen, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Explosive algae growth is particularly common in warm, stagnant water as well as near agricultural land where fertilizers, heavy in phosphorus, run off into nearby waters.—Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 8 Jan. 2024 According to reports by Amnesty International, on October 16th Israel bombed the village with artillery shells containing white phosphorus, a violation of international humanitarian law.—Rania Abouzeid, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2023 Beyond these basic, structural benefits, your bones are also a storage site for important minerals, including calcium and phosphorus, and bone marrow, the soft tissue that produces your body's red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.—Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2023 Lebanon's official National News Agency reported that Israeli forces used phosphorus shells to attack on the outskirts of the village of Marwahin, along the border with Israel.—By
jared Malsin, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2023 This attack could well be a scene from Israel’s current war in Gaza, where the IDF has used tanks, airstrikes, and (according to human rights groups) white phosphorus in its attacks on Palestinian cities and refugee camps.—Sarah E. Parkinson, Foreign Affairs, 14 Nov. 2023 See More
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New Latin, from Greek phōsphoros light-bearing — more at phosphor
: a nonmetallic multivalent element that occurs widely in combined form especially as inorganic phosphates in minerals, soils, natural waters, bones, and teeth and as organic phosphates in all living cells and that exists in several allotropic forms—symbol P see Chemical Elements Table