Definition of Joseph Priestley from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Joseph Priestley

; NAmE
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(1733-1804) an English scientist, priest and writer. His most famous achievement was the discovery of the chemical element oxygen (which he called 'dephlogisticated air'). He attacked the established Church, and was one of the founders of Unitarianism (= a form of Christianity). His support for the American and French Revolutions led to protests in which his house was burned down, and he left England in 1794 to settle in the US.