[ok-si-juh n] /ˈɒk sɪ dʒən/

noun, Chemistry.
a colorless, odorless, gaseous element constituting about one-fifth of the volume of the atmosphere and present in a combined state in nature. It is the supporter of combustion in air and was the standard of atomic, combining, and molecular weights until 1961, when carbon 12 became the new standard. Symbol: O; atomic weight: 15.9994; atomic number: 8; density: 1.4290 g/l at 0°C and 760 mm pressure.


gaseous chemical element, 1790, from French oxygène, coined in 1777 by French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), from Greek oxys “sharp, acid” (see acrid) + French -gène “something that produces” (from Greek -genes “formation, creation;” see -gen).

Intended to mean “acidifying (principle),” it was a Greeking of French principe acidifiant. So called because oxygen was then considered essential in the formation of acids (it is now known not to be). The element was isolated by Priestley (1774), who, using the old model of chemistry, called it dephlogisticated air. The downfall of the phlogiston theory required a new name, which Lavoisier provided.

oxygen ox·y·gen (ŏk’sĭ-jən)
Symbol O

Symbol O
A nonmetallic element that exists in its free form as a colorless, odorless gas and makes up about 21 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and occurs in many compounds, including water, carbon dioxide, and iron ore. Oxygen combines with most elements, is required for combustion, and is essential for life in most organisms. Atomic number 8; atomic weight 15.9994; melting point -218.4°C; boiling point -183.0°C; gas density at 0°C 1.429 grams per liter; valence 2. See Periodic Table.

Our Living Language : In 1786, the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier coined a term for the element oxygen (oxygène in French). He used Greek words for the coinage: oxy- means “sharp,” and -gen means “producing.” Oxygen was called the “sharp-producing” element because it was thought to be essential for making acids. Lavoisier also coined the name of the element hydrogen, the “water-producing” element, in 1788. Soon after, in 1791, another French chemist, J. A. Chaptal, introduced the word nitrogen, the “niter-producing” element, referring to its discovery from an analysis of nitric acid.

An element, normally a gas, that makes up about one-fifth of the atmosphere of the Earth. Oxygen is usually found as a molecule made up of two atoms. Its symbol is O.

Note: When we breathe in oxygen, it is carried by the hemoglobin in our blood throughout the body, where it is used to generate energy by oxidation. (See respiration.)

Note: Oxygen is a waste product of green plants and photosynthesis.


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    noun 1. . noun 1. another name for oxyacid

  • Oxygen affinity hypoxia

    oxygen affinity hypoxia n. Hypoxia due to the reduced ability of hemoglobin to release oxygen.

  • Oxygenase

    [ok-si-juh-neys, -neyz] /ˈɒk sɪ dʒəˌneɪs, -ˌneɪz/ noun, Biochemistry. 1. an oxidoreductase enzyme that catalyzes the introduction of molecular into an organic substance. oxygenase ox·y·gen·ase (ŏk’sĭ-jə-nās’, -nāz’) n. An enzyme that catalyzes the incorporation of molecular oxygen into its substrate. Also called direct oxidase.

  • Oxygenated

    [ok-si-juh-neyt] /ˈɒk sɪ dʒəˌneɪt/ verb (used with object), oxygenated, oxygenating. 1. to treat, combine, or enrich with : to oxygenate the blood. /ˈɒksɪdʒɪˌneɪt/ verb 1. to enrich or be enriched with oxygen: to oxygenate blood oxygenate ox·y·gen·ate (ŏk’sĭ-jə-nāt’) or ox·y·gen·ize (-jə-nīz’) v. ox·y·gen·at·ed or ox·y·gen·ized, ox·y·gen·at·ing or ox·y·gen·iz·ing, ox·y·gen·ates or ox·y·gen·iz·es To treat, combine, or […]

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