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[fos-feen, -fin] /ˈfɒs fin, -fɪn/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, poisonous, ill-smelling, flammable gas, PH 3 .
any of certain organic derivatives of this compound.
1870-75; phosph- + -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for phosphine
  • Exposure to phosphine can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • May produce highly toxic and flammable phosphine gas in the presence of strong reducing agents such as hydrides.
British Dictionary definitions for phosphine


a colourless flammable gas that is slightly soluble in water and has a strong fishy odour: used as a pesticide. Formula: PH3
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for phosphine

hydrogen phosphide

a colourless, flammable, extremely toxic gas, with a disagreeable, garlic-like odour. Phosphine is formed by the action of a strong base or hot water on white phosphorus or by the reaction of water with calcium phosphide (Ca3P2). Phosphine is structurally similar to ammonia (NH3), but phosphine is a much poorer solvent than ammonia and is much less soluble in water.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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