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The existence of two or more crystalline or molecular structural forms of an element that have different chemical or physical attributes.

al′lo·trop′ic (ăl′ə-trŏp′ĭk, -trō′pĭk), al′lo·trop′i·cal adj.
al′lo·trop′i·cal·ly adv.


(əˈlɒtrəpɪ) or


(Chemistry) the existence of an element in two or more physical forms. The most common elements having this property are carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus
allotropic adj
ˌalloˈtropically adv


(əˈlɒ trə pi)

also al•lot′ro•pism,

a property of certain elements, as carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus, of existing in two or more distinct forms.
al•lo•trop•ic (ˌæl əˈtrɒp ɪk, -ˈtroʊ pɪk) adj.
al`lo•trop′i•cal•ly, adv.

allotropism, allotropy

the quality of certain substances to exist in more than one form, with different properties in each form. — allotropic, allotropical, adj.
See also: Matter
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.allotropy - the phenomenon of an element existing in two or more physical forms
chemical phenomenon - any natural phenomenon involving chemistry (as changes to atoms or molecules)
References in periodicals archive ?
Allotropy is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the existence, especially in a solid state, of two or more crystalline or molecular structural forms of an element.
Carbon presents allotropy, two different structural phases, diamond and graphite, composed of carbon atoms linked by [sp.
Significantly, the shift away from the absolute locutory mimesis of the chameleonic "assimilist" (160) to verbal allotropy parallels the switch out of the mode of invisibility and facelessness into a position of assumed visibility and social presence.