The Meaning of PH: What It Is and How To Use It

What is the pH scale, and how do scientists use it? This article will define various meanings of pH. Keep reading to learn more!

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When you took science classes in school, did you ever have to measure the pH level of a solution? It is fun to watch the pH strips change colors based on whether the solution is acidic or basic, but what does pH mean? Also, how can it be used in different contexts? 

This article will define the most popular meaning of the term pH and its other definitions.

What Does PH Mean?

According to Dictionary, pH is an abbreviation for hydrogen ion concentration. This measurement scale is expressed in gram atoms per liter on the pH scale, which runs from 0 to 14. 

On this scale, a score of more than 7 means something is alkaline or basic. A score of exactly 7 means something is neutral, and a score of 7 or higher means that something is acidic. 

If something has a low pH, it is very acidic and known as a strong acid, like hydrochloric acid (HCl). Something with a high pH range is a strong base. 

People use litmus paper to take pH measurements and measure the alkalinity of a solution. You might have done an experiment like this in high school, where you measure acidic and alkaline solutions using a pH meter.

People use the pH scale in chemistry, physics, biology, and more. Knowing acids and bases and how to measure the acidity of an aqueous solution is crucial in many experiments and tests. For example, lemon juice has an acidic pH, pure water has a neutral pH, and soap has a basic pH.

However, if pure water gets exposed to air, it will become mildly acidic because it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. Many pH levels can shift depending on different exposure, and even parts of the human body have a pH balance.

The Origin of the pH Scale

Britannica states that SPL Sørensen, a Danish biochemist, developed the hydrogen ion concentration scale as an equation: pH = −log[H+]. This equation states that pH is equal to the logarithm of the reciprocal of the concentration of hydrogen ions. 

What Are Other Meanings of PH?

Outside of the science world, PH has several other meanings as an acronym and abbreviation. The Free Dictionary lists many different potential meanings of the term PH outside of its best-known scientific definition. 

To learn more about all of the various meanings of the term PH, keep reading!

Meanings of PH in Technology

People who work in technology might see the abbreviation PH standing for one of the below:

  • Philippines (Internet top level domain)
  • Peak Hour
  • Telephone
  • Pin Hole
  • Packet Handler
  • Parity High
  • Path History
  • Packet Header
  • Protection and Handset
  • Public Holiday
  • Primal Heuristic (algorithm)
  • Physical (layer, ISDN)
  • Protocol Handlers
  • Physical Header
  • Presentation Header (TMN)
  • Product Hierarchy

Meanings of PH in Government

In different governments worldwide, people might use PH to stand for one of the following definitions:

  • Pearl Harbor
  • (USN Rating) Photographer’s Mate
  • Purple Heart
  • Perth (postcode, United Kingdom)
  • Phase
  • Pilot House
  • Pin Hole
  • Probability of Hit
  • Prahova County (Romania)

Meanings of PH in Science

While scientists might use the term pH to reference the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, they could also use the acronym PH to stand for one of the below definitions:

  • Pulmonary Hemorrhage
  • Parity High
  • Pondus Hydrogenii (Latin: Hydrogen Weight)
  • Phase Type Distribution (probability concept)
  • Precipitation Hardening (steel)
  • Providence Hospital
  • Proportional Hazard(s)
  • Potentia Hydrogenii (Latin: hydrogen power)
  • Pleckstrin Homology
  • Pin Hole
  • Phenyl
  • Packet Handler
  • Phot (unit of illumination)
  • Human Performance
  • Telephone
  • pubic hair
  • Puissance de Hydrogen (French: power of hydrogen)
  • Population Health
  • Past Medical History
  • Phosphates
  • Porphyric Hemophilia (disease)
  • Peace Health
  • phenylalanine hydroxylase
  • Philadelphia Chromosome (molecular biology)
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Partial Hepatectomy
  • Public Health
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Potencial Hidrógeno (Spanish: Potential Hydrogen)
  • Pharmacie Hospitalière (French: Hospital Pharmacy)
  • Purpura Hemorrhagica (horses)

Meanings of PH in Business

For business people, PH could mean any number of the following:

  • Premium History (insurance)
  • Pin Hole
  • Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Pranic Healing
  • Penthouse
  • Phillips Head (screwdriver)
  • Public Holiday
  • Package Handler
  • Policyholder (insurance)
  • Pizza Hut
  • Public House
  • Parliament House (various locations)
  • Perth (postcode, United Kingdom)
  • Pizza Haven (Seattle, WA; est. 1958)
  • Product Hierarchy
  • Personal Holiday
  • Paid Holiday

Meanings of PH in Organizations

Some organizations even use the acronym PH as an abbreviation for their name:

  • Pillowhead (gaming clan)
  • Plataforma Humanista
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Perpetual Help (Catholic schools)
  • Partido Humanista (Portuguese: Humanist Party)
  • Portola Hills (California)
  • Port Harcourt
  • Porter Hall
  • Pharmacie Hospitalière (French: Hospital Pharmacy)
  • Pädagogische Hochschule (German: University on Education)
  • Physically Handicapped

Meanings of PH as Slang

In many casual realms and interests, PH has specific meanings:

  • People Here (chat)
  • Pin Hole
  • Professional Hunter
  • Potato Head (toy)
  • Place Holder (gaming)
  • Pizza Hut
  • Please Help
  • Poo Head
  • Pablo Honey (Radiohead album)
  • Pantyhose
  • Paris Hilton
  • Paul Heyman (former WWE Smackdown GM)
  • Phantom Hourglass (Zelda game)
  • Pyramid Head (Silent Hill video game/movie)
  • Pillowhead (gaming clan) 
  • (website)
  • Pinch Harmonic (Guitar sound made by pinching the strings with the pick)
  • Pandora Hearts (anime)
  • Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Poké Hunters (webcomic)


The definition of pH value is how acidic or alkaline (basic) a solution is. You can measure the pH of a solution using pH strips. A solution’s pH levels are equal to the negative logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen ions. 

You might have seen this word of the day, but see if you recognize it in the world around you during your daily life!


  1. Ph Definition & Meaning |
  2. pH | Definition, Uses, & Facts | Britannica  
  3. PH – What does PH stand for? | The Free Dictionary