New Latin, from Latin cadmia zinc oxide, from Greek kadmeia, literally, Theban (earth), from feminine of kadmeios Theban, from Kadmos; from the occurrence of its ores together with zinc oxide
First Known Use: 1822
Medical Definition of CADMIUM
: a bluish white malleable ductile toxic bivalent metallic element used especially in protective platings and in bearing metals—symbol Cd; see element table
Metallic chemical element, chemical symbol Cd, atomic number 48. It normally occurs along with other metals, especially zinc, in ores. A silvery white metal capable of taking a high polish, cadmium does not corrode under alkaline (seealkali) conditions; one of its major uses is in electroplating other metals and alloys to protect them. Because it absorbs neutrons effectively, it is used in control rods in some nuclear reactors. Its compounds, in which it has valence 2, are very toxic. They are used as pigments, as phosphors in television and computer monitor screens, as pesticides, and in photographic applications and analytical chemistry.