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phosphorous acid

noun, Chemistry
1.
a colorless, crystalline, water-soluble acid of phosphorus, H 3 PO 3 , from which phosphites are derived.
Origin
1785-1795
1785-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for phosphorous-acid

phosphorous acid

noun
1.
Also called orthophosphorous acid. a white or yellowish hygroscopic crystalline dibasic acid. Formula: H3PO3 Systematic name phosphoric acid
2.
any oxyacid of phosphorus containing less oxygen than the corresponding phosphoric acid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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phosphorous-acid in Science
phosphorous acid
  (fŏs'fər-əs, fŏs-fôr'əs)   
A white or yellowish crystalline solid used as a reducing agent. It is hygroscopic (easily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere). Chemical formula: H3PO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for phosphorous-acid

phosphorous acid

one of several oxygen acids of phosphorus, used as reducing agent in chemical analysis. It is a colourless or yellowish crystalline substance (melting point about 73 C, or 163 F) with a garliclike taste. An unstable compound that readily absorbs moisture, it is converted to phosphoric acid (H3PO4) in the presence of oxygen or when heated above 180 C (360 F). Phosphorous acid (H3PO3) forms salts called phosphites, also used as reducing agents. It is prepared by dissolving tetraphosphorus hexoxide (P4O6) or phosphorus trichloride (PCl3) in water.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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