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English → English (gcide) Definition: Vegetable sulphur Sulphur \Sul"phur\, n. [L., better sulfur: cf. F. soufre.] 1. (Chem.) A nonmetallic element occurring naturally in large quantities, either combined as in the sulphides (as pyrites) and sulphates (as gypsum), or native in volcanic regions, in vast beds mixed with gypsum and various earthy materials, from which it is melted out. Symbol S. Atomic weight 32. The specific gravity of ordinary octohedral sulphur is 2.05; of prismatic sulphur, 1.96. [1913 Webster] Note: It is purified by distillation, and is obtained as a lemon-yellow powder (by sublimation), called flour, or flowers, of sulphur, or in cast sticks called roll sulphur, or brimstone. It burns with a blue flame and a peculiar suffocating odor. It is an ingredient of gunpowder, is used on friction matches, and in medicine (as a laxative and insecticide), but its chief use is in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Sulphur can be obtained in two crystalline modifications, in orthorhombic octahedra, or in monoclinic prisms, the former of which is the more stable at ordinary temperatures. Sulphur is the type, in its chemical relations, of a group of elements, including selenium and tellurium, called collectively the sulphur group, or family. In many respects sulphur resembles oxygen. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of yellow or orange butterflies of the subfamily Pierin[ae]; as, the clouded sulphur (Eurymus philodice syn. Colias philodice), which is the common yellow butterfly of the Eastern United States. [1913 Webster] Amorphous sulphur (Chem.), an elastic variety of sulphur of a resinous appearance, obtained by pouring melted sulphur into water. On standing, it passes back into a brittle crystalline modification. Liver of sulphur. (Old Chem.) See Hepar. Sulphur acid. (Chem.) See Sulphacid. Sulphur alcohol. (Chem.) See Mercaptan. Sulphur auratum [L.] (Old Chem.), a golden yellow powder, consisting of antimonic sulphide, Sb2S5, -- formerly a famous nostrum. Sulphur base (Chem.), an alkaline sulphide capable of acting as a base in the formation of sulphur salts according to the old dual theory of salts. [Archaic] Sulphur dioxide (Chem.), a colorless gas, SO2, of a pungent, suffocating odor, produced by the burning of sulphur. It is employed chiefly in the production of sulphuric acid, and as a reagent in bleaching; -- called also sulphurous anhydride, and formerly sulphurous acid . Sulphur ether (Chem.), a sulphide of hydrocarbon radicals, formed like the ordinary ethers, which are oxides, but with sulphur in the place of oxygen. Sulphur salt (Chem.), a salt of a sulphacid; a sulphosalt. Sulphur showers, showers of yellow pollen, resembling sulphur in appearance, often carried from pine forests by the wind to a great distance. Sulphur trioxide (Chem.), a white crystalline solid, SO3, obtained by oxidation of sulphur dioxide. It dissolves in water with a hissing noise and the production of heat, forming sulphuric acid, and is employed as a dehydrating agent. Called also sulphuric anhydride, and formerly sulphuric acid. Sulphur whale. (Zo["o]l.) See Sulphur-bottom. Vegetable sulphur (Bot.), lycopodium powder. See under Lycopodium. [1913 Webster] Vegetable \Veg`e*ta*ble\, a. [F. v['e]g['e]table growing, capable of growing, formerly also, as a noun, a vegetable, from L. vegetabilis enlivening, from vegetare to enliven, invigorate, quicken, vegetus enlivened, vigorous, active, vegere to quicken, arouse, to be lively, akin to vigere to be lively, to thrive, vigil watchful, awake, and probably to E. wake, v. See Vigil, Wake, v.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of or pertaining to plants; having the nature of, or produced by, plants; as, a vegetable nature; vegetable growths, juices, etc. [1913 Webster] Blooming ambrosial fruit Of vegetable gold. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Consisting of, or comprising, plants; as, the vegetable kingdom. [1913 Webster] Vegetable alkali (Chem.), an alkaloid. Vegetable brimstone. (Bot.) See Vegetable sulphur, below. Vegetable butter (Bot.), a name of several kinds of concrete vegetable oil; as that produced by the Indian butter tree, the African shea tree, and the Pentadesma butyracea , a tree of the order Guttifer[ae], also African. Still another kind is pressed from the seeds of cocoa (Theobroma). Vegetable flannel, a textile material, manufactured in Germany from pine-needle wool, a down or fiber obtained from the leaves of the Pinus sylvestris. Vegetable ivory. See Ivory nut, under Ivory. Vegetable jelly. See Pectin. Vegetable kingdom. (Nat. Hist.) See the last Phrase, below. Vegetable leather. (a) (Bot.) A shrubby West Indian spurge (Euphorbia punicea ), with leathery foliage and crimson bracts. (b) See Vegetable leather, under Leather. Vegetable marrow (Bot.), an egg-shaped gourd, commonly eight to ten inches long. It is noted for the very tender quality of its flesh, and is a favorite culinary vegetable in England. It has been said to be of Persian origin, but is now thought to have been derived from a form of the American pumpkin. Vegetable oyster (Bot.), the oyster plant. See under Oyster. Vegetable parchment, papyrine. Vegetable sheep (Bot.), a white woolly plant (Raoulia eximia ) of New Zealand, which grows in the form of large fleecy cushions on the mountains. Vegetable silk, a cottonlike, fibrous material obtained from the coating of the seeds of a Brazilian tree (Chorisia speciosa). It us used for various purposes, as for stuffing, and the like, but is incapable of being spun on account of a want of cohesion among the fibers. Vegetable sponge. See 1st Loof. Vegetable sulphur, the fine highly inflammable spores of the club moss (Lycopodium clavatum); witch. Vegetable tallow, a substance resembling tallow, obtained from various plants; as, Chinese vegetable tallow, obtained from the seeds of the tallow tree. Indian vegetable tallow is a name sometimes given to piney tallow. Vegetable wax, a waxy excretion on the leaves or fruits of certain plants, as the bayberry. [1913 Webster] Vegetable kingdom (Nat. Hist.), that primary division of living things which includes all plants. The classes of the vegetable kingdom have been grouped differently by various botanists. The following is one of the best of the many arrangements of the principal subdivisions. [1913 Webster] I. Ph[ae]nogamia (called also Phanerogamia). Plants having distinct flowers and true seeds. [ 1. Dicotyledons (called also Exogens). -- Seeds with two or more cotyledons. Stems with the pith, woody fiber, and bark concentrically arranged. Divided into two subclasses: Angiosperms, having the woody fiber interspersed with dotted or annular ducts, and the seed contained in a true ovary; Gymnosperms, having few or no ducts in the woody fiber, and the seeds naked. 2. Monocotyledons (called also Endogens). -- Seeds with single cotyledon. Stems with slender bundles of woody fiber not concentrically arranged, and with no true bark.] [1913 Webster] II. Cryptogamia. Plants without true flowers, and reproduced by minute spores of various kinds, or by simple cell division. [ 1. Acrogens. -- Plants usually with distinct stems and leaves, existing in two alternate conditions, one of which is nonsexual and sporophoric, the other sexual and o["o]phoric. Divided into Vascular Acrogens, or Pteridophyta, having the sporophoric plant conspicuous and consisting partly of vascular tissue, as in Ferns, Lycopods, and Equiseta, and Cellular Acrogens, or Bryophyta, having the sexual plant most conspicuous, but destitute of vascular tissue, as in Mosses and Scale Mosses. 2. Thallogens. -- Plants without distinct stem and leaves, consisting of a simple or branched mass of cellular tissue, or educed to a single cell. Reproduction effected variously. Divided into Alg[ae], which contain chlorophyll or its equivalent, and which live upon air and water, and Fungi, which contain no chlorophyll, and live on organic matter. (Lichens are now believed to be fungi parasitic on included alg[ae].] [1913 Webster] Note: Many botanists divide the Ph[ae]nogamia primarily into Gymnosperms and Angiosperms, and the latter into Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons. Others consider Pteridophyta and Bryophyta to be separate classes. Thallogens are variously divided by different writers, and the places for diatoms, slime molds, and stoneworts are altogether uncertain. [1913 Webster] For definitions, see these names in the Vocabulary. [1913 Webster]


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