- a pale-yellow, nonmetallic chemical element found in crystalline or amorphous form: it burns with a blue flame and a stifling odor and is used in vulcanizing rubber and in making matches, paper, gunpowder, insecticides, sulfuric acid, etc.: symbol, S; at. no. 16
- any of numerous small to medium-sized butterflies (family Pieridae) having yellow or orange wings with dark bordersin full sulfur butterfly
- yellow with a greenish tinge: often sulfur yellow
Origin of sulfurMiddle English sulphur from Classical Latin
- S A pale yellow nonmetallic element occurring widely in nature in several free, allotropic and crystal forms and combined in numerous sulfates and sulfides. It is used in black gunpowder, rubber vulcanization, the manufacture of insecticides and pharmaceuticals, and in the preparation of sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid. Atomic number 16; atomic weight 32.066; melting point 115.21°C; boiling point 444.61°C; specific gravity at 20°C (rhombic) 2.07, (monoclinic) 2.00; valence 2, 4, 6. See Periodic Table.
- Any of various butterflies of the subfamily Coliadinae of the family Pieridae, having yellow or orange wings often marked with black.
transitive verbsul·fured, sul·fur·ing, sul·furs, also sul·phured sul·phur·ing sul·phurs
Origin of sulfurMiddle English from Anglo-Norman sulfre from Latin sulfur
(usually uncountable, plural sulfurs)
terms related to sulfur (noun)
(comparative more sulfur, superlative most sulfur)
(third-person singular simple present sulfurs, present participle sulfuring, simple past and past participle sulfured)