The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information

1 definition found
 for Oxygen
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Oxygen \Ox"y*gen\, n. [F. oxyg[`e]ne, from Gr. 'oxy`s sharp,
     acid + root of gi`gnesqai to be born. So called because
     originally supposed to be an essential part of every acid.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. (Chem.) A colorless, tasteless, odorless, gaseous element
        of atomic number 8, occurring in the free state in the
        atmosphere, of which it forms about 23 per cent by weight
        and about 21 per cent by volume, being slightly heavier
        than nitrogen. Symbol O. Atomic weight 15.9994.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
     Note: It occurs combined in immense quantities, forming eight
           ninths by weight of water, and probably one half by
           weight of the entire solid crust of the globe, being an
           ingredient of silica, the silicates, sulphates,
           carbonates, nitrates, etc. Oxygen combines with all
           elements (except fluorine), forming oxides, bases,
           oxyacid anhydrides, etc., the process in general being
           called oxidation, of which combustion is only an
           intense modification. At ordinary temperatures with
           most substances it is moderately active, but at higher
           temperatures it is one of the most violent and powerful
           chemical agents known. It is indispensable in
           respiration, and in general is the most universally
           active and efficient element. It may be prepared in the
           pure state by heating potassium chlorate.
           [1913 Webster] This element (called dephlogisticated
           air by Priestley) was named oxygen by Lavoisier because
           he supposed it to be a constituent of all acids. This
           is not so in the case of a very few acids (as
           hydrochloric, hydrobromic, hydric sulphide, etc.), but
           these do contain elements analogous to oxygen in
           property and action. Moreover, the fact that most
           elements approach the nearer to acid qualities in
           proportion as they are combined with more oxygen, shows
           the great accuracy and breadth of Lavoisier's
           conception of its nature.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. Chlorine used in bleaching. [Manufacturing name]
        [1913 Webster]

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org