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

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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

Congo produces some two-thirds of the world’s cobalt, used in the lithium-ion batteries powering electric cars and mobile phones, and several other minerals key to manufacturing modern technologies. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Catholic Church Questions Surprise Congo Election Results," 10 Jan. 2019 To wit, monochrome or shades in the same family will always fare better than, say, one tangerine Converse and one in cobalt... Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "Would You Try Mismatched Shoes? This Might Persuade You," 10 Jan. 2017 With demand soaring, lithium has joined other once-obscure metals, like cobalt, as an object of a global scramble. Scott Patterson, WSJ, "Deal to Create Chinese Lithium Giant Faces Legal Challenge," 21 Oct. 2018 Amnesty published a report tracking child labor in the Congolese mines where cobalt is tracked for lithium-ion batteries. James Vincent, The Verge, "This beautiful map shows everything that powers an Amazon Echo, from data mines to lakes of lithium," 9 Sep. 2018 But for Garcia, it’s more about sensual strokes of scarlet, violet, and cobalt; wallpapers and bathtubs edged in gold; and an aviary of faux birds, from parakeets to peacocks. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Jacques Garcia Turned an Old Church into London's Hottest Hotel," 23 Aug. 2018 Most cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid horrendous labor conditions. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Newer Tesla batteries contain Cuban cobalt, likely illegal under US sanctions," 20 July 2018 Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest nations despite having reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and other minerals. Fox News, "US diplomat in Madagascar found dead in home, suspect in custody," 26 Sep. 2018 Rih wore cobalt eyeliner on her lower lashes with a dusty pink shadow on her lids. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna Was a Gorgeous Bridesmaid and She Completely Avoided the Bridal Bouquet," 20 Aug. 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near cobalt

cob

Cobaea

cobalamin

cobalt

cobalt 60

cobaltammine

cobalt bloom

Statistics for cobalt

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cobalt

The first known use of cobalt was in 1683

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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 \

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

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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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