vapor pressure

noun
the pressure exerted by the molecules of a vapor, especially that part of the total pressure exerted by vapor in a mixture of gases, as by water vapor in air.
Also called vapor tension.


Origin:
probably earlier than 1895–1900

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vapor pressure  
  1. The pressure exerted by a vapor on the solid or liquid phase with which it is in equilibrium. At pressures lower than the vapor pressure, more atoms or molecules of the liquid or solid vaporize and escape from the surface of the liquid or solid than are absorbed from the vapor, resulting in evaporation. At the vapor pressure the exchange is equal and there is no net evaporation. Also called evaporation pressure.

  2. The pressure exerted by water vapor in the atmosphere.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

vapor pressure definition


In physics and chemistry, the atmospheric pressure that would be exerted by any single component of a gas if that component were the only one present. For example, the vapor pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere of the Earth is the pressure that would exist if everything but oxygen were removed. The total atmospheric pressure is the sum of the vapor pressures of all the materials in the atmosphere.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Saturation vapor pressure varies with atmospheric pressure.
Propane provides higher vapor pressure to the fuel for better performance in
  cold weather.
The vapor pressure of water thus measures the amount of water vapor in the air.
The evaporation creates a negative water vapor pressure develops in the
  surrounding cells of the leaf.
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