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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 ?
The three kinds of carbon hybrid bonds, [sp.sup.1], [sp.sup.2], and [sp.sup.3], different C-C, C-O, and C-H bonding arrangement, and dimensional network make the carbon-containing films a complex structure with a wide variety of allotropy and applications [1].
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." The element of the self that fascinates Lawrence is the material level of consciousness--separate from the "old stable ego" of nineteenth-century realism, from the way a person "feels"--that remains the same even as the individual appears to grow and change.