What does phosphorus mean?

Definitions for phosphorus
ˈfɒs fər əs; -fəˌraɪphos·pho·rus

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word phosphorus.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. phosphorus, P, atomic number 15(noun)

    a multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells; is highly reactive and occurs in several allotropic forms

  2. morning star, daystar, Phosphorus, Lucifer(noun)

    a planet (usually Venus) seen just before sunrise in the eastern sky


  1. phosphorus(Noun)

    a chemical element (symbol P) with an atomic number of 15, that exists in several allotropic forms.

    Etymology: From Latinised Greek Phosphorus, from Φωσφόρος, from φῶς + φέρω.

  2. phosphorus(Noun)

    any substance exhibiting phosphorescence; a phosphor

    Etymology: From Latinised Greek Phosphorus, from Φωσφόρος, from φῶς + φέρω.

  3. Phosphorus(ProperNoun)

    A name sometimes used for Hesperus, the personification in Greek mythology of the planet Venus.

    Etymology: From Latinised Greek Phosphorus, from Φωσφόρος, from φῶς + φέρω.

  4. Phosphorus(ProperNoun)

    An ancient Greek name for the morning star (the planet Venus when it is visible in the eastern sky before sunrise).

    Etymology: From Latinised Greek Phosphorus, from Φωσφόρος, from φῶς + φέρω.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Phosphorus(noun)

    the morning star; Phosphor

    Etymology: [L., the morning star, Gr. fwsfo`ros, lit., light bringer; fw^s light + fe`rein to bring.]

  2. Phosphorus(noun)

    a poisonous nonmetallic element of the nitrogen group, obtained as a white, or yellowish, translucent waxy substance, having a characteristic disagreeable smell. It is very active chemically, must be preserved under water, and unites with oxygen even at ordinary temperatures, giving a faint glow, -- whence its name. It always occurs compined, usually in phosphates, as in the mineral apatite, in bones, etc. It is used in the composition on the tips of friction matches, and for many other purposes. The molecule contains four atoms. Symbol P. Atomic weight 31.0

    Etymology: [L., the morning star, Gr. fwsfo`ros, lit., light bringer; fw^s light + fe`rein to bring.]

  3. Phosphorus(noun)

    hence, any substance which shines in the dark like phosphorus, as certain phosphorescent bodies

    Etymology: [L., the morning star, Gr. fwsfo`ros, lit., light bringer; fw^s light + fe`rein to bring.]


  1. Phosphorus

    Phosphorus is a nonmetallic chemical element with symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent pnictogen, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidised state, as inorganic phosphate rocks. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms—white phosphorus and red phosphorus—but due to its high reactivity, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth. The first form of elemental phosphorus to be produced emits a faint glow upon exposure to oxygen – hence its name given from Greek mythology, Φωσφόρος meaning "light-bearer", referring to the "Morning Star", the planet Venus. The term "phosphorescence", meaning glow after illumination, originally derives from this property of phosphorus, although this word has since been used for a different physical process that produces a glow. The glow of phosphorus itself originates from oxidation of the white phosphorus— a process now termed chemiluminescence. The vast majority of phosphorus compounds are consumed as fertilisers. Other applications include the role of organophosphorus compounds in detergents, pesticides and nerve agents, and matches. Phosphorus is essential for life. As phosphate, it is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP, and also the phospholipids that form all cell membranes. Demonstrating the link between phosphorus and life, elemental phosphorus was historically first isolated from human urine, and bone ash was an important early phosphate source. Phosphate minerals are fossils. Low phosphate levels are an important limit to growth in some aquatic systems. The chief commercial use of phosphorus compounds for production of fertilisers is due to the need to replace the phosphorus that plants remove from the soil.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Phosphorus

    fos′fō-rus, n. the morning-star: a yellowish substance, like wax, inflammable and giving out light in the dark.—n. Phos′phate, a salt formed by the combination of phosphoric acid with a base.—adj. Phosphat′ic, of the nature of, or containing, a phosphate.—ns. Phos′phide, a compound formed of phosphorus and some other element, as copper or iron; Phos′phite, a salt of phosphorous acid; Phos′phor, the morning-star: (obs.) phosphorus.—v.t. Phos′phorate, to combine or impregnate with phosphorus.—n. Phos′phor-bronze, an alloy of copper, tin, and phosphorus.—v.i. Phosphoresce′, to shine in the dark like phosphorus.—n. Phosphoresc′ence.—adjs. Phosphoresc′ent, shining in the dark like phosphorus; Phosphor′ic, Phos′phorous, pertaining to or obtained from phosphorus.—ns. Phos′phorite, a massive radiated variety of apatite; Phos′phuret, a compound of phosphorus with a metal.—adj. Phos′phuretted, combined with phosphorus.—n. Phos′sy-jaw, phosphorous poisoning.—Phosphatic diathesis (med.), the condition in which there is a tendency in the urine to deposit white gravel. [L.,—Gr.,—phōsphoros, light-bearer—phōs, light, phoros, bearing, from pherein, to bear.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Phosphorus

    A non-metal element that has the atomic symbol P, atomic number 15, and atomic weight 31. It is an essential element that takes part in a broad variety of biochemical reactions.

Editors Contribution

  1. phosphorus

    An element.

    Phosphorus is a chemical element found in many minerals, is an important component in steel making and are a component of DNA, RNA, ATP in the human body.

    Submitted by MaryC on November 20, 2015  

How to pronounce phosphorus?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say phosphorus in sign language?

  1. phosphorus


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of phosphorus in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of phosphorus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of phosphorus in a Sentence

  1. David Catling:

    The extremely high phosphate levels in these lakes and ponds would have driven reactions that put phosphorus into the molecular building blocks of RNA, proteins and fats, all of which were needed to get life going.

  2. Hunter Waite:

    This( molecular hydrogen) is just like the icing on the cake, now, you see the chemical energy source that microbes could use. The only thing we haven't seen is phosphorus and sulfur, and that's probably because they were in small enough quantities that we didn't see them. We have to go back and look and search for signs of life as well.

  3. Lona Sandon:

    It may have something to do with the phosphorus in soda, or it could be that people are drinking soda instead of other beverages—like milk—that have nutrients necessary for healthy bones.

  4. Jim White:

    Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin A, vitamin B (including thiamin, riboflavin), vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and protein, they are also high in magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, and copper.

Images & Illustrations of phosphorus

  1. phosphorusphosphorusphosphorusphosphorusphosphorus

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Translations for phosphorus

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"phosphorus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jun 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/phosphorus>.

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