ger·​ma·​ni·​um | \ (ˌ)jər-ˈmā-nē-əm How to pronounce germanium (audio) \

Definition of germanium

: a grayish-white hard brittle metalloid element that resembles silicon and is used especially in optical and semiconductor materials and as a catalyst — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of germanium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After all, germanium is a better semiconductor than silicon, but silicon still rules the roost. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum device performs 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes," 7 Dec. 2020 To test this idea, the researchers built a detector out of a crystal of germanium the size of a coffee cup. George Musser, Science | AAAS, "One of quantum physics’ greatest paradoxes may have lost its leading explanation," 7 Sep. 2020 Physicists hope that these experiments — or rival WIMP detectors that use materials such as germanium and argon — will make the first direct detection of dark matter. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Last Chance for WIMPs: Physicists Launch All-Out Hunt for Dark-Matter Candidate," 8 Oct. 2020 Other factors such as interactions between germanium protons and electrons might also cloak the signal, says theoretical physicist Maaneli Derakhshani of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. George Musser, Science | AAAS, "One of quantum physics’ greatest paradoxes may have lost its leading explanation," 7 Sep. 2020 Known by clever acronyms such as EDELWEISS III, SENSEI and CRESST-III, they are made of materials such as germanium, silicon, and scheelite and are sensitive to dark matter collisions that would create just a single electron. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Direct Proof of Dark Matter May Lurk at Low-Energy Frontiers," 9 June 2020 Located 6,800 feet underground inside a nickel mine in Ontario, the initial experiment will use four towers that each contain six detectors made from crystals of silicon germanium to attempt to sense dark matter. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Generation of Dark Matter Experiments Gear Up to Search for Elusive Particle," 3 Feb. 2020 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 Instead of using traditional photography lenses, which are of course made of glass, the infrared images were created using lenses made from germanium, a metal that is transparent at infrared wavelengths. New York Times, "How We Made Images of Methane, an Invisible Gas," 13 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germanium.' 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 germanium

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for germanium

New Latin, from Medieval Latin Germania Germany

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Time Traveler for germanium

Time Traveler

The first known use of germanium was in 1886

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Statistics for germanium

Last Updated

13 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Germanium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for germanium


ger·​ma·​ni·​um | \ jər-ˈmā-nē-əm How to pronounce germanium (audio) \

Kids Definition of germanium

: a white hard brittle element used as a semiconductor


ger·​ma·​ni·​um | \ (ˌ)jər-ˈmā-nē-əm How to pronounce germanium (audio) \

Medical Definition of germanium

: a grayish white hard brittle metalloid element that resembles silicon and is used as a semiconductor symbol Ge — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on germanium

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

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