Definition of


  1. (noun, communication) the 16th letter of the Roman alphabet
  2. (noun, substance) a multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells; is highly reactive and occurs in several allotropic forms

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word P

  1. a rare letter in the initial position in Gmc., in part because by Grimm's Law PIE p- became Gmc. f-; even with early L. borrowings, -p- takes up only a little over 4 pages in J.R. Clark Hall's "Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary," compared to 31 pages for B and more than 36 for F. But it now is the third most common initial letter in the Eng. voca… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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