white phosphorus


Definition of white phosphorus 

: the element phosphorus in its white or yellowish allotropic form

called also yellow phosphorus

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of white phosphorus

1861, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about white phosphorus

Share white phosphorus

Statistics for white phosphorus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for white phosphorus

The first known use of white phosphorus was in 1861

See more words from the same year

Comments on white phosphorus

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


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!