- a colorless, odorless, gaseous element constituting about one-fifth of the volume of the atmosphere and present in a combined state in nature. It is the supporter of combustion in air and was the standard of atomic, combining, and molecular weights until 1961, when carbon 12 became the new standard. Symbol: O; atomic weight: 15.9994; atomic number: 8; density: 1.4290 g/l at 0°C and 760 mm pressure.
- a colourless odourless highly reactive gaseous element: the most abundant element in the earth’s crust (49.2 per cent). It is essential for aerobic respiration and almost all combustion and is widely used in industry. Symbol: O; atomic no: 8; atomic wt: 15.9994; valency: 2; density: 1.429 kg/m³; melting pt: –218.79°C; boiling pt: –182.97°C
- (as modifier)an oxygen mask
n.gaseous chemical element, 1790, from French oxygène, coined in 1777 by French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), from Greek oxys “sharp, acid” (see acrid) + French -gène “something that produces” (from Greek -genes “formation, creation;” see -gen). Intended to mean “acidifying (principle),” it was a Greeking of French principe acidifiant. So called because oxygen was then considered essential in the formation of acids (it is now known not to be). The element was isolated by Priestley (1774), who, using the old model of chemistry, called it dephlogisticated air. The downfall of the phlogiston theory required a new name, which Lavoisier provided. n. Symbol O
- An element constituting 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume that occurs as a diatomic gas, O2, combines with most elements, is essential for plant and animal respiration, and is required for nearly all combustion. Atomic number 8.
- A medicinal gas used therapeutically for oxygen supplementation, containing not less than 99.0 percent, by volume, of O2.
- A nonmetallic element that exists in its free form as a colorless, odorless gas and makes up about 21 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and occurs in many compounds, including water, carbon dioxide, and iron ore. Oxygen combines with most elements, is required for combustion, and is essential for life in most organisms. Atomic number 8; atomic weight 15.9994; melting point -218.8°C; boiling point -182.9°C; gas density at 0°C 1.429 grams per liter; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
An element, normally a gas, that makes up about one-fifth of the atmosphere of the Earth. Oxygen is usually found as a molecule made up of two atoms. Its symbol is O.