cobalt

noun
co·​balt | \ ˈkō-ˌbȯlt How to pronounce cobalt (audio) \

Definition of cobalt

1 : a magnetic metallic element that is used especially in alloys, in batteries, and as a pigment in paint and glass — see Chemical Elements Table

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Did You Know?

The metallic element "cobalt" ultimately draws its name from folklore. In Middle High German, "kobolt" denoted a usually helpful household elf that engaged in nasty pranks only when it was offended. Later, early Modern German Kobold came to refer to a variety of less helpful goblins inhabiting fields and mountains. The variant "Kobolt" in the 16th century was applied by German miners to ores containing the metal cobalt, which they considered to be worthless; they believed that mountain goblins had spoiled adjacent silver ores, or had stolen the silver within the ore. The metal itself in relatively pure form was not produced and described until the 17th century, when "cobalt," with its first letter influenced by New Latin cobaltum, became part of the international language of science.

Examples of cobalt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The potato-sized chunks of rock are rich in manganese, cobalt, copper and other metals that have precipitated from the seawater over tens of millions of years. Todd Woody, National Geographic, "Do we know enough about the deep sea to mine it?," 24 July 2019 In addition to vast timber, copper and gold reserves, the country produces more than half the world’s cobalt, a key component of smartphone and laptop batteries. The Editorial Page, WSJ, "The Congo’s Crooked Contest," 2 Jan. 2019 Deep sea hydrothermal vents, like the ones where the sea pangolin lives, are especially attractive since hydrothermal processes can concentrate gold, zinc, cobalt, and lithium in areas around the vents. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Deep-Sea Snail Builds Its Own Ironclad Suit of Armor. But Even That Can’t Protect It From Ocean Mining," 26 July 2019 The rarer materials like cobalt and lithium, though, often come from places rife with war and child labor. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "Europe’s battery leadership can help clean up the global metals supply chain," 7 Aug. 2019 Think scarlet, peach, pink, amber, sienna, and gold versus cooler teal, eggplant, emerald, aqua, and cobalt. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use Warm Colors in Your Home, According to Interior Designers," 25 July 2019 Brazil, for example, filed an application in December 2018 that included the Rio Grande Rise, a deep-ocean mountain range 1500 kilometers southeast of Rio De Janeiro that's covered in cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts. Richard Kemeny, Science | AAAS, "As countries battle for control of North Pole, science is the ultimate winner," 20 June 2019 Some of them, including cobalt, are mined by hand, reportedly sometimes by children, in desperately poor countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Andrew Mcafee, WIRED, "How the iPhone Helped Save the Planet," 29 June 2019 The pair both rocked a few coats of mascara, glossy lips, and slicked back buns: Jorja’s piecy, and Rina’s cobalt and braided. Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Beyoncé, Jorja Smith, Rina Sawayama, and More," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cobalt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cobalt

circa 1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cobalt

German Kobalt, alteration of Kobold, literally, goblin, from Middle High German kobolt; from its occurrence in silver ore, believed to be due to goblins

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Dictionary Entries near cobalt

cob

Cobaea

cobalamin

cobalt

cobalt 60

cobaltammine

cobalt bloom

Statistics for cobalt

Last Updated

29 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cobalt

The first known use of cobalt was circa 1872

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More Definitions for cobalt

cobalt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cobalt

: a hard, shiny, silver-white metal that is often mixed with other metals

cobalt

noun
co·​balt | \ ˈkō-ˌbȯlt How to pronounce cobalt (audio) \

Kids Definition of cobalt

: a tough shiny silvery white metallic chemical element found with iron and nickel

cobalt

noun
co·​balt | \ ˈkō-ˌbȯlt How to pronounce cobalt (audio) \

Medical Definition of cobalt

: a tough lustrous silver-white magnetic metallic element that is related to and occurs with iron and nickel and is used especially in alloys symbol Co — see Chemical Elements Table

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More from Merriam-Webster on cobalt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cobalt

Spanish Central: Translation of cobalt

Nglish: Translation of cobalt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cobalt for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cobalt

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