noun \ˌzər-ˈkō-nē-əm\

Definition of ZIRCONIUM

:  a steel-gray hard ductile metallic element with a high melting point that occurs widely in combined form (as in zircon), is highly resistant to corrosion, and is used especially in alloys and in refractories and ceramics — see element table


New Latin, from International Scientific Vocabulary zircon
First Known Use: 1808

Rhymes with ZIRCONIUM


noun \(ˌ)zər-ˈkō-nē-əm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ZIRCONIUM

: a steel-gray strong ductile chiefly tetravalent metallic element with a high melting point—symbol Zr; see element table


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Metallic chemical element, one of the transition elements, chemical symbol Zr, atomic number 40. The metal is hard and brittle when impure, soft and ductile when highly purified. It is relatively abundant, occurring as zircon (also marketed as a natural gemstone) and baddeleyite. Highly transparent to neutrons, zirconium became important in the 1940s in nuclear energy applications such as fuel cladding. Other uses are in alloys, fireworks, and flashbulbs and as a scavenger for oxygen and other gases. Its compounds, in most of which it has valence 4, are important industrial materials. Zirconia (the oxide) is used in piezoelectric crystals (see piezoelectricity), high-frequency induction coils, coloured glazes and glasses, and heat-resistant fibres; zirconium carbonate is employed in preparations to treat the rash of poison ivy.


Next Word in the Dictionary: zirconium hydride
Previous Word in the Dictionary: zirconiferous
All Words Near: zirconium

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up zirconium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).