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See also: Sulphur



sulphur (countable and uncountable, plural sulphurs)

  1. Alternative spelling of sulfur
  2. Any of various pierid butterflies of the subfamily Coliadinae, especially the sulphur coloured species. Compare yellow.

Derived terms[edit]


sulphur (third-person singular simple present sulphurs, present participle sulphuring, simple past and past participle sulphured)

  1. Alternative spelling of sulfur

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is the traditional popular spelling in the UK and India, and an alternative spelling in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, it is considered non-standard in scientific contexts, as the IUPAC has only approved the spelling sulfur.[1]


  1. ^ Nature Chemistry 1, 333 (2009). doi:10.1038/nchem.301



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Alternative forms[edit]


From a Hellenisation of earlier sulpur, from the root *selp- (fat, oil). Cognate with English salve, Sanskrit सर्पिस् (sarpís, cleaned melted butter), सृप्र (sṛprá, greasy, smooth), Tocharian B ṣalype (ointment), and perhaps ἔλπος (élpos, ?olive oil, fat) or Ancient Greek ὄλπη (ólpē, flask for oil).

According to De Vaan citing Szemerényi,[1] perhaps from an s-stem Proto-Indo-European *sélpos. However, De Vaan finds both the -él- > -ól- and -os > -ur changes to be irregular (for -ol- > -ul- see sulcus), adding that perhaps it comes from Proto-Italic *solpor, from an r/n-stem Proto-Indo-European *sólpr̥ instead.



sulphur n (genitive sulphuris); third declension

  1. sulfur, brimstone
  2. lightning


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative sulphur sulphura
Genitive sulphuris sulphurum
Dative sulphurī sulphuribus
Accusative sulphur sulphura
Ablative sulphure sulphuribus
Vocative sulphur sulphura



  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7)‎[1], Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  • sulphur”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sulphur”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers