white phosphorus

noun

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

Learn More About white phosphorus

Time Traveler for white phosphorus

Time Traveler

The first known use of white phosphorus was in 1861

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near white phosphorus

white perch

white phosphorus

white pickle

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for white phosphorus

Cite this Entry

“White phosphorus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20phosphorus. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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