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 Mendeleev accurately predicted the existence of then-undiscovered elements, such as gallium and germanium, and foretold their interactions with other elements. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, "The Histories Hidden in the Periodic Table," 27 Dec. 2019 The experiments usually require enormous tanks of liquid—dry-cleaning fluid, water, heavy water, mineral oil, chlorine, or gallium, for example, depending on the experimental setup. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Weighing in: Physicists cut upper limit on neutrino’s mass in half," 19 Sep. 2019 Bauxite is a source of gallium, which is essential to the electronics industry. Christopher R. O'dea, National Review, "Mike Pompeo’s View of China," 7 Nov. 2019 Some heavier elements like gallium and bromine need something more, such as a supernova. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Some of the universe’s heavier elements are created by neutron star collisions," 23 Oct. 2019 Nintendo will partner with Sharp to put the company's IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays in the Switch, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "What Sharp’s IGZO display technology will mean for the Nintendo Switch," 8 Aug. 2019 Whereas N-type silicon has one extra electron, P-type uses impurities from elements like gallium or boron, that have one less electron. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World)," 6 July 2019 Officials told us it's basically the equal of a indium gallium solder on the new chip. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's new Ryzen 3000 APUs give budget gamers an affordable taste of Radeon Vega," 12 June 2019 But just imagine skaters doing triple axels on a silvery mirror gallium surface. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The surprising science of why ice is so slippery," 31 Jan. 2019

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.

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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 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.)

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The first known use of gallium was in 1875

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gallium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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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

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

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