Definition for PHOS'PHOR-US, or PHOS'PHOR

PHOS'PHOR-US, or PHOS'PHOR, n. [L. from the Greek. See Phosphor.]

  1. The morning star.
  2. Phosphorus, in chimistry, a combustible substance, hitherto undecomposed. It is of a yellowish color and semi-transparent, resembling fine wax. It burns in common air with great rapidity; and in oxygen gas, with the greatest vehemence. Even at the common temperature, it combines with oxygen, undergoing a slow combustion and emitting a luminous vapor. It was originally obtained from urine; but it is now manufactured from bones, which consist in part of phosphate of lime. – D. Olmsted.

Return to page 88 of the letter “P”.