sulfur

[suhl-fer]
noun
1.
Also, especially British, sulphur. Chemistry. a nonmetallic element that exists in several forms, the ordinary one being a yellow rhombic crystalline solid, and that burns with a blue flame and a suffocating odor: used especially in making gunpowder and matches, in medicine, in vulcanizing rubber, etc. Symbol: S; atomic weight: 32.064; atomic number: 16; specific gravity: 2.07 at 20° C.
2.
sulphur ( def 2 ).

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English sulphur < Latin sulpur, sulphur, sulfur brimstone, sulfur

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sulfur
Collins
World English Dictionary
sulfur (ˈsʌlfə)
 
n
the US preferred spelling of sulphur

sulphur or sulfur (ˈsʌlfə)
 
n
a.  an allotropic nonmetallic element, occurring free in volcanic regions and in combined state in gypsum, pyrite, and galena. The stable yellow rhombic form converts on heating to monoclinic needles. It is used in the production of sulphuric acid, in the vulcanization of rubber, and in fungicides. Symbol: S; atomic no: 16; atomic wt: 32.066; valency: 2, 4, or 6; relative density: 2.07 (rhombic), 1.957 (monoclinic); melting pt: 115.22°C (rhombic), 119.0°C (monoclinic); boiling pt: 444.674°CRelated: thionic
 b.  (as modifier): sulphur springs
 
Related: thionic
 
[C14 soufre, from Old French, from Latin sulfur]
 
sulfur or sulfur
 
n
 
Related: thionic
 
[C14 soufre, from Old French, from Latin sulfur]
 
sulphuric or sulfur
 
adj
 
sulfuric or sulfur
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sulfur
c.1300, from O.Fr. soufre (13c.), from L.L. sulfur, from L. sulphur, probably from a root meaning "to burn." Ousted native brimstone and cognate O.E. swefl.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sulfur sul·fur or sul·phur (sŭl'fər)
n.
Symbol S
A yellow nonmetallic element occurring widely in nature in several free and combined allotropic forms and used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and many sulfur compounds, especially sulfuric acid. Atomic number 16; atomic weight 32.066; melting point (rhombic) 112.8°C; (monoclinic) 119.0°C; boiling point 444.6°C; specific gravity (rhombic) 2.07; (monoclinic) 1.957; valence 2, 4, 6.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sulfur also sulphur   (sŭl'fər)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol S
A pale-yellow, brittle nonmetallic element that occurs widely in nature, especially in volcanic deposits, minerals, natural gas, and petroleum. It is used to make gunpowder and fertilizer, to vulcanize rubber, and to produce sulfuric acid. Atomic number 16; atomic weight 32.066; melting point (rhombic) 112.8°C; (monoclinic) 119.0°C; boiling point 444.6°C; specific gravity (rhombic) 2.07; (monoclinic) 1.957; valence 2, 4, 6. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The observatory also warned of lethal levels of sulfur dioxide near the vents.
It too is composed mostly of iron, plus substantial amounts of sulfur and
  nickel.
Coal has lots of pollution problems besides sulfur and nitrogen compounds.
Bacteria that can live on sulfur in hydrothermal vents would seem promising.
Image for sulfur
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature