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brimstone

Brimstone is an old-fashioned word for sulfur, a chemical that's used to make matches, among other things.

Brimstone is derived from the Old English brynstan and a root meaning "to burn." These days, few people refer to the non-metallic chemical element sulfur this way, but are more likely to use the word in the Biblical phrase "fire and brimstone." The burning smell of a lightning strike — and the association of lightning with divine punishment — produced the connection between burning sulfur, or brimstone, and God's wrath.

Definitions of brimstone
  1. noun
    an old name for sulfur
    synonyms: native sulfur, native sulphur
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    type of:
    S, atomic number 16, sulfur, sulphur
    an abundant tasteless odorless multivalent nonmetallic element; best known in yellow crystals; occurs in many sulphide and sulphate minerals and even in native form (especially in volcanic regions)
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