<chemistry> The hypothetical principle of fire, or inflammability, regarded by Stahl as a chemical element.

This was supposed to be united with combustible (phlogisticated) bodies and to be separated from incombustible (dephlogisticated) bodies, the phenomena of flame and burning being the escape of phlogiston. Soot and sulphur were regarded as nearly pure phlogiston. The essential principle of this theory was, that combustion was a decomposition rather than the union and combination which it has since been shown to be.

Origin: NL, fr. Gr. Burnt, set on fire, fr. To set on fire, to burn, fr, a flame, blaze. See Phlox.

(01 Mar 1998)