cobalt

noun

co·​balt ˈkō-ˌbȯlt How to pronounce cobalt (audio)
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
2

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 Many people have gold teeth, artificial hips or knee joints, which contain titanium, cobalt or chromium. Verena Sepp, Fortune, 18 May 2024 In 2022, workers at one of those cobalt mines spoke to The Vergeabout unsafe working conditions without adequate water or breaks and with little food or pay. Justine Calma, The Verge, 18 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for cobalt 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cobalt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cobalt was circa 1872

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Dictionary Entries Near cobalt

Cite this Entry

“Cobalt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cobalt. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

cobalt

noun
co·​balt ˈkō-ˌbȯlt How to pronounce cobalt (audio)
: a tough shiny silver-white magnetic metallic element that is found with iron and nickel and is used especially in alloys see element
Etymology

from German Kobalt "cobalt," an altered form of Kobold, literally, "goblin"; so called because its appearance in silver ore was thought to have been the work of goblins who left it in place of silver which they stole

Medical Definition

cobalt

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cobalt

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