gallium

noun gal·li·um \ ˈga-lē-əm \

Definition of gallium

: a bluish-white metallic element obtained especially as a by-product in refining various ores and used especially in semiconductors and optoelectronic devices — see Chemical Elements Table

Recent Examples of gallium from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gallium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of gallium

borrowed from New Latin, from Gallia "Gaul, France" (going back to Latin) + -ium -ium
Note: The element was named by the first person to isolate it, the French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), reported in "Caractères chimiques et spectroscopiques dʼun nouveau métal, le Gallium, découvert dns une blende de la mine de Pierrefitte, vallée dʼArgelès," Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de lʼAcadémie des Sciences, tome 81 (juillet-décembre 1875), pp. 493-95. In a later publication, Lecoq de Boisbaudran explained the origin of the name: " … jʼai aperçu les premiers indices de lʼexistence dʼun nouvel élément, que jʼai nommé «gallium» en lʼhonneur de la France (Gallia)" (" … I perceived the first signs of the existence of a new element, which I named "gallium" in honor of France (Gallia)") ("Sur un nouveau métal, le gallium," Annales de chimie et de physique, 5. série, tome 10 [1877], p. 103). The later hypothesis that gallium was formed from Latin gallus "cock," as a translation of the chemistʼs surname "Lecoq," is without apparent foundation. (Though the evidence is clear, there is on the other hand no indication that Lecoq de Boisbaudran ever explicitly denied the association.)


Medical Dictionary

gallium

noun gal·li·um \ ˈgal-ē-əm \

medical Definition of gallium

: a rare bluish white metallic element that is hard and brittle at low temperatures but melts just above room temperature and expands on freezing and that is used in the form of its hydrated nitrate salt Ga(NO3)3·9H2O to treat hypercalcemia caused by certain cancers symbol Ga — see Chemical Elements Table


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!