cobalt

noun
co·balt | \ˈkō-ˌbȯlt \

Definition of cobalt 

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 key is that the blue in question is neither basic navy nor that glaring cobalt every #menswear blogger in Pitti obsessed over at the beginning of the decade. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "The Best Affordable Suit For Your Non-Stop Summer Schedule," 29 June 2018 So Goodenough made the cobalt himself, heating the precursors at very high temperatures. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "Alternatives to Cobalt, the Blood Diamond of Batteries," 7 June 2018 The best-selling shades are Otherworldly (a violet/cobalt/magenta/copper) and Heavenly (a maroon/gold/olive). Devon Abelman, Allure, "These Color-Changing Pigments Are Like Expert Eye Shadow Blending Skills in a Jar," 21 Mar. 2018 Finding a way to recycle lithium-ion batteries on a large scale could greatly reduce the demand — as well as curb the rising cots — for cobalt in electric vehicles. Rob Nikolewski, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UCSD professor devises way to recycle lithium-ion batteries," 16 Mar. 2018 Apple might buy cobalt directly from miners for the first time. Bloomberg.com, "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 21 Feb. 2018 As lithium-ion batteries become more prevalent in electric cars and other devices, cobalt has seen its value rise as a commodity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Mining Company Buys Rights to Former National Monument Land," 21 June 2018 Paired with a blue dress, the blue-on-blue look went over well and made me consider cobalt as my new power color. Devon Abelman, Allure, "I Copied My Favorite K-Pop Star's Makeup for a Week — and It Was Exhausting," 29 May 2018 Congo accounts for more than 60% of the world’s cobalt production. Scott Patterson, WSJ, "Glencore Shares Tumble After U.S. Subpoena," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of cobalt

1683, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cobalt

Listen to Our Podcast about cobalt

Dictionary Entries near cobalt

cob

Cobaea

cobalamin

cobalt

cobalt 60

cobaltammine

cobalt bloom

Statistics for cobalt

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cobalt

The first known use of cobalt was in 1683

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of cobalt

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

cobalt

noun
co·balt | \ˈkō-ˌbȯlt \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cobalt

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to teach someone the beliefs of a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!