sulfur dioxide


noun Chemistry.

a colorless, nonflammable, water-soluble, suffocating gas, SO2, formed when sulfur burns: used chiefly in the manufacture of chemicals such as sulfuric acid, in preserving fruits and vegetables, and in bleaching, disinfecting, and fumigating.

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Origin of sulfur dioxide

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Scientific definitions for sulfur dioxide

sulfur dioxide

A colorless, poisonous gas or liquid with a strong odor. It is formed naturally by volcanic activity, and is a waste gas produced by burning coal and oil and by many industrial processes, such as smelting. It is also a hazardous air pollutant and a major contributor to acid rain. Chemical formula: SO2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.