isotope

noun
iso·​tope | \ˈī-sə-ˌtōp \

Definition of isotope 

1 : any of two or more species of atoms of a chemical element with the same atomic number and nearly identical chemical behavior but with differing atomic mass or mass number and different physical properties

2 : nuclide

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Other Words from isotope

isotopic \ ˌī-​sə-​ˈtä-​pik , -​ˈtō-​ \ adjective
isotopically \ ˌī-​sə-​ˈtä-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē , -​ˈtō-​ \ adverb

Examples of isotope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Other researchers have studied the bacteria of ancient plaque to understand migration among the Polynesian islands, and performed chemical analysis on teeth looking at strontium isotopes, which come from groundwater and get locked into the enamel. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Ancient Teeth Reveal The Roots of Humankind," 2 July 2018 The scientists were looking for samples of certain isotopes, beryllium-10 and aluminum-26. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Antarctica's Ice May Be More Durable Than We Thought," 13 June 2018 Deuterium is a naturally occurring, stable isotope of the element hydrogen. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Yellowstone's magma chamber is more powerful than we knew. Here's why studying it matters.," 3 July 2018 Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes like electricity and the production of medical isotopes. Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "With nuclear deal under threat, Iran shows off centrifuges," 7 June 2018 Cesium-137 is the last of that deadly trio of isotopes. Serhii Plokhy, Time, "The True Cost of the Chernobyl Disaster Has Been Greater Than It Seems," 26 Apr. 2018 He was served tea spiked with Polonium 210, a radioactive isotope. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Dawn Sturgess, British Woman Poisoned by Novichok, Dies," 8 July 2018 By studying isotopes in the teeth and bones, experts have discovered that the victims were born in different places across Mesoamerica, but had often spent significant time in Tenochtitlan before their violent deaths. James Rogers, Fox News, "Gruesome human sacrifice discovery: Skulls reveal grisly secrets of lost Aztec city," 27 June 2018 The particles grab on to ions of cesium, strontium, and other dangerous isotopes in the water, making room for them by spitting out sodium. Vince Beiser, WIRED, "Fukushima’s Other Big Problem: A Million Tons of Radioactive Water," 27 Apr. 2018

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

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for isotope

is- + Greek topos place

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Statistics for isotope

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for isotope

The first known use of isotope was in 1913

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More Definitions for isotope

isotope

noun

English Language Learners Definition of isotope

chemistry : any one of various forms in which the atoms of a chemical element can occur

isotope

noun
iso·​tope | \ˈī-sə-ˌtōp \

Medical Definition of isotope 

1 : any of two or more species of atoms of a chemical element with the same atomic number and position in the periodic table and nearly identical chemical behavior but with differing atomic mass or mass number and different physical properties

2 : nuclide

Other Words from isotope

isotopic \ ˌī-​sə-​ˈtäp-​ik , -​ˈtō-​pik \ adjective
isotopically \ -​ˈtäp-​i-​k(ə-​)lē , -​ˈtō-​pi-​ \ adverb
isotopy \ ˈī-​sə-​ˌtō-​pē , ī-​ˈsät-​ə-​pē \ noun plural isotopies

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