dys·​pro·​si·​um dis-ˈprō-zē-əm How to pronounce dysprosium (audio)
: an element of the rare-earth group that forms highly magnetic compounds see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of dysprosium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, rare-earth elements like neodymium and dysprosium, which are required for the most powerful magnets for the latter, also represent a major choke point. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Mar. 2024 Is digging up enough minerals like lithium, neodymium and dysprosium to enable the electric vehicle transition worth killing 44,000 small plants growing in the middle of the Nevada desert? Danielle Chemtob, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The specific rare-earth elements are neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, and dysprosium. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Nov. 2023 Also, the rare-earth elements used in permanent-magnet generators, such as neodymium and dysprosium, are in short supply. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Sep. 2023 The need for dysprosium alone will increase by more than 2,500 percent by 2035, according to analysts at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Mechanics, 22 Aug. 2023 But for starters, Phoenix is focused on the rare earths, exotic metals with names like neodymium and dysprosium. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2022 For example, dysprosium is a mineral used for magnets in wind turbines and a big push for cleaner electricity would require three times as much dysprosium as currently produced, the paper said. Seth Borenstein, ajc, 27 Jan. 2023 Nickel, necessary for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, is expected to face shortages of about 10 percent to 20 percent by 2030, while dysprosium, a rare-earth element commonly used in electric motors, may experience deficits of as much as 70 percent, McKinsey said. BostonGlobe.com, 5 July 2023

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, from Greek dysprósitos "difficult to access" (from dys- dys- + prósitos "approachable," verbal adjective of próseimi, prosiénai "to go toward, approach," from pros- pros- + eîmi, iénai "to go") + New Latin -ium -ium — more at issue entry 1

Note: The element was named by the first person to isolate it, the French chemist Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), reported in "Le holmine (ou terre X de M. Soret) contient au moins deux radicaux métalliques," Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des Sciences, tome 102 (janvier-juin 1886), pp. 1003-04. The name was apparently given because several hundred fractionations ("plusieurs centaines de fractionnements") were required to isolate a sufficient amount of it to test spectroscopically.

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dysprosium was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near dysprosium




Cite this Entry

“Dysprosium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dysprosium. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dys·​pro·​si·​um dis-ˈprō-zē-əm How to pronounce dysprosium (audio)
: a chemical element that forms very magnetic compounds see element

Medical Definition


dys·​pro·​si·​um dis-ˈprō-zē-əm How to pronounce dysprosium (audio) -zh(ē-)əm How to pronounce dysprosium (audio)
: an element of the rare-earth group that forms highly magnetic compounds
symbol Dy
see Chemical Elements Table

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