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[mass noun] The existence of two or more different physical forms of a chemical element.
- ‘With the exception of nitrogen, all group V elements show allotropy.’
- ‘An example of allotropy is carbon, which can exist as diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon.’
- ‘The best known example for allotropy is iron.’
- ‘The difference in the arrangement of space in the atoms that make up the structure of an element is called allotropy.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek allotropos of another form, from allo- other + tropos manner (from trepein to turn).
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