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phlogiston

Pronunciation: flo-jis'ton

Definition: A hypothetical substance of negative mass that, according to the theory of G.E. Stahl, was given off by a substance when it underwent combustion, thus accounting for the decrease in mass of the ash over the original substance; abandoned after the discoveries of Priestley and Lavoisier concerning oxygen.

[G. phlogistos, inflammable]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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