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[hal-uh-juh n, -jen, hey-luh-] /ˈhæl ə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn, ˈheɪ lə-/
noun, Chemistry
any of the electronegative elements, fluorine, chlorine, iodine, bromine, and astatine, that form binary salts by direct union with metals.
1835-45; halo- + -gen
Related forms
[ha-loj-uh-nuh s] /hæˈlɒdʒ ə nəs/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for halogens
  • Most often used as accent lighting, halogens produce a whiter and brighter beam than other bulbs.
  • Methane is violently reactive with oxidizers, halogens, and some halogen-containing compounds.
  • The headlights look the same, but they're modern halogens.
  • So does oxygen and ozone, but these are weaker absorbers than the halogens.
British Dictionary definitions for halogens


any of the chemical elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. They are all monovalent and readily form negative ions
Derived Forms
halogenoid, adjective
halogenous (həˈlɒdʒɪnəs) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Swedish; see halo-, -gen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for halogens



general name for elements of the chlorine family, 1842, from Swedish, coined by Swedish chemist Baron Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848), literally "salt-producer," from Greek hals "salt" (see halo-) + -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen); so called because a salt is formed in reactions involving these four elements.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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halogens in Medicine

halogen hal·o·gen (hāl'ə-jən)
Any of a group of five chemically related nonmetallic elements including fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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halogens in Science
Any of a group of five nonmetallic elements with similar properties. The halogens are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. Because they are missing an electron from their outermost shell, they react readily with most metals to form salts. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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