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.

Origin of sulfur dioxide

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Science 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.
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