1. a halogen element, a heavy, greenish-yellow, incombustible, water-soluble, poisonous gas that is highly irritating to the respiratory organs, obtained chiefly by electrolysis of sodium chloride brine: used for water purification, in the making of bleaching powder, and in the manufacture both of chemicals that do not contain chlorine, as ethylene glycol, and of those that do. Symbol: Cl; atomic weight: 35.453; atomic number: 17.


  1. a toxic pungent greenish-yellow gas of the halogen group; the 15th most abundant element in the earth’s crust, occurring only in the combined state, mainly in common salt: used in the manufacture of many organic chemicals, in water purification, and as a disinfectant and bleaching agent. Symbol: Cl; atomic no: 17; atomic wt: 35.4527; valency: 1, 3, 5, or 7; density: 3.214 kg/m³; relative density: 1.56; melting pt: –101.03°C; boiling pt: –33.9°C

nonmetallic element, the name coined 1810 by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) from Latinized form of Greek khloros “pale green” (see Chloe) + chemical suffix -ine (2). Named for its color. Discovered 1774, but known at first as oxymuriatic acid gas, or dephlogisticated marine acid.

n. Symbol Cl

  1. A highly irritating poisonous halogen, capable of combining with nearly all other elements, produced principally by electrolysis of sodium chloride and used widely to purify water, as a disinfectant and bleaching agent, and in the manufacture of many important compounds. Atomic number 17.


  1. A greenish-yellow, gaseous element of the halogen group that can combine with most other elements and is found chiefly in combination with the alkali metals as chlorates and chlorides. Chlorine is highly irritating and poisonous. It is used in purifying water, as a disinfectant and bleach, and in the manufacture of numerous chemical compounds. Atomic number 17; atomic weight 35.453; freezing point -100.98°C; boiling point -34.6°C; specific gravity 1.56 (-33.6°C); valence 1, 3, 5, 7. See Periodic Table. See Note at chlorophyll.

A chemical element, normally a corrosive gas, that is widely used for sterilization and cleaning.

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