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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’).