sulfur

noun sul·fur \ ˈsəl-fər \
variants: or chiefly British sulphur
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of sulfur

: a nonmetallic element that occurs either free or combined especially in sulfides and sulfates, is a constituent of proteins, exists in several allotropic forms including yellow orthorhombic crystals, resembles oxygen chemically but is less active and more acidic, and is used especially in the chemical and paper industries, in rubber vulcanization, and in medicine for treating skin diseases — see Chemical Elements Table

sulfury

or chiefly British sulphury play \\ adjective

Is it sulfur or sulphur?

The spelling sulfur predominates in U.S. technical usage, while both sulfur and sulphur are common in general usage. British usage tends to favor sulphur for all applications. The same pattern is seen in most of the words derived from sulfur.


Recent Examples of sulfur from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sulfur

Middle English sulphur brimstone, from Latin sulpur, sulphur, sulfur


SULFUR Defined for English Language Learners

sulfur

noun

Definition of sulfur for English Language Learners

  • chemistry : a yellow chemical element that has a strong, unpleasant odor when it is burned and that is used in making paper, gunpowder, medicine, etc.


SULFUR Defined for Kids

sulfur

noun sul·fur
variants: also sulphur \ˈsəl-fər\

Definition of sulfur for Students

: a yellow chemical element that is found widely in nature and is used in making chemicals and paper

Medical Dictionary

1

sulfur

noun sul·fur
variants: or chiefly British sulphur play \ˈsəl-fər\

medical Definition of sulfur

: a nonmetallic element that occurs either free or combined especially in sulfides and sulfates, is a constituent of proteins, exists in several allotropic forms including yellow orthorhombic crystals, resembles oxygen chemically but is less active and more acidic, and is used especially in the chemical and paper industries, in rubber vulcanization, and in medicine for treating skin diseases symbol S — see Chemical Elements Table

2

sulfur

adjective
variants: or chiefly British sulphur

medical Definition of sulfur

: of, relating to, or resembling sulfur : containing or impregnated with sulfur


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