dephlogisticated air

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

dephlogisticated air (uncountable)

  1. (chemistry, historical) Oxygen, as originally thought to be air deprived of phlogiston.
    • 1775, Joseph Priestley, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air:
      My reader will not wonder, that, after having ascertained the superior goodness of dephlogisticated air by mice living in it, and the other tests above mentioned, I should have the curiosity to taste it myself.
    • 2002, Philip Ball, The Elements: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2004, p. 30:
      Priestley never swayed from his firm conviction in the phlogiston theory as long as he lived, and he called his new gas ‘dephlogisticated air’.