• synonyms


[fos-feen, -fin]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a colorless, poisonous, ill-smelling, flammable gas, PH3.
  2. any of certain organic derivatives of this compound.
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Origin of phosphine

First recorded in 1870–75; phosph- + -ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phosphine

Historical Examples of phosphine

  • In the preparation of phosphine, why is coal gas passed into the flask?

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

    William McPherson

  • Phosphine is a gas of unpleasant odor and is exceedingly poisonous.

  • For the detection of phosphine, Berg's solution may be used.

  • The difficulty with this explanation is that phosphine is not known as a decomposition product of organized matter.

  • According to Bullier, however, acetylene must contain 80 per cent of phosphine to render it spontaneously inflammable.

British Dictionary definitions for phosphine


  1. a colourless flammable gas that is slightly soluble in water and has a strong fishy odour: used as a pesticide. Formula: PH 3
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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