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- n. Plural form of phlogistian.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The metals, which are now regarded as elementary bodies, were considered compounds by the phlogistians, and they believed that the calcining of a metal was a process of simplification.
But the phlogistians had not learned the all-important significance of weights, and their explanation of variation in weight was either that such gain or loss was an unimportant "accident" at best, or that phlogiston, being light, tended to lighten any substance containing it, so that driving it out of the metal by calcination naturally left the residue heavier.