• synonyms

phossy jaw

  1. a gangrenous condition of the lower jawbone caused by prolonged exposure to phosphorus fumes
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Word Origin

C19: phossy, colloquial shortening of phosphorus
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

Examples from the Web for phossy jaw

Historical Examples

  • The inhalation of the fumes of phosphorus, as in making vermin-killers, etc., gives rise to 'phossy-jaw.'

    Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

    W. G. Aitchison Robertson