gal·​li·​um | \ ˈga-lē-əm How to pronounce gallium (audio) \

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

Examples of gallium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And many metals have production losses of 95 percent or higher: arsenic, gallium, germanium, hafnium, scandium, selenium, and tellurium. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 Flexibility turns out to be just one of gallium’s useful properties. Kurt Kleiner, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2022 To make bendable circuits with gallium, scientists form it into thin wires embedded between rubber or plastic sheets. Kurt Kleiner, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2022 In spring, expect to come across dandelions, watercress, day lily, gallium and more. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Last year, Digitimes reported that Apple was developing new USB-C chargers that would be powered by gallium nitride (GaN). Jacob Siegal, BGR, 8 Apr. 2022 Oppo promises that the charge adapter will use gallium-nitride technology to be only slightly larger than existing 65-watt adapters, at about 2.3 inches long and 2.2 inches deep. Sascha Segan, PCMAG, 28 Feb. 2022 Most of the worries about solar panel production have focused on the elements that go into the panels themselves, like gallium, cadmium, germanium, indium, selenium, and tellurium. Doug Johnson, Ars Technica, 25 Jan. 2022 Within two years, system costs for gallium nitride should reach parity with silicon for charging and similar applications, Sheridan said. Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of gallium

1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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 dans 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.)

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The first known use of gallium was in 1875

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gallium arsenide

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Last Updated

10 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gallium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for gallium


gal·​li·​um | \ ˈgal-ē-əm How to pronounce gallium (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on gallium

Nglish: Translation of gallium for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about gallium


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