- n. chemistry A stable allotrope of phosphorus; used in the manufacture of safety matches, pesticides etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Chem.) an allotropic modification of phosphorus, obtained as a dark red powder by heating ordinary phosphorus in closed vessels. It is not poisonous, is not phosphorescent, and is only moderately active chemically. It is valuable as a chemical reagent, and is used in the composition of the friction surface on which safety matches are ignited.
- adj. (Chem.) See under Phosphorus.
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