Definition of erbium
: a metallic element of the rare-earth group — see element table
Recent Examples of erbium from the Web
The beam excites the erbium atoms, which then add their energy to optical data signals passing through the fiber and boost the signals' power enough to carry them 50 miles or more before needing another boost.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erbium'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of erbium
New Latin, from Ytterby, Sweden
First Known Use: 1843
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up erbium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).