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[fos-fawr-ik, -for-]
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adjective Chemistry.
  1. of or containing phosphorus, especially in the pentavalent state.

Origin of phosphoric

First recorded in 1775–85; phosphor- + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phosphoric

Historical Examples

  • The first invention was what were called "phosphoric tapers."

    The Story of a Tinder-box

    Charles Meymott Tidy

  • Up started Ferdinand and put his phosphoric treasures into action.

  • These ingredients are nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash.

  • In it, for every 142 parts of phosphoric acid, there are only 56 parts of lime.

  • Or, for every 142 parts of phosphoric acid, there are 224 parts of lime.

British Dictionary definitions for phosphoric


  1. of or containing phosphorus in the pentavalent state
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phosphoric


1784, from French phosphorique, from phosphore (see phosphorous). Related: Phosphorical (1753).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phosphoric in Medicine

metaphosphoric acid

([object Object])
  1. An inorganic compound used as a dehydrating agent and in dental cements.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.