isotope

noun
iso·​tope | \ ˈī-sə-ˌtōp How to pronounce isotope (audio) \

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

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Other Words from isotope

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

Examples of isotope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stable isotope ratios in the bones of people living in medieval Oxford suggested that people’s diets included meat and vegetables in about the same proportions after the conquest as before it. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The Norman Conquest didn’t change ordinary people’s lives very much," 6 July 2020 Potassium has a radioactive isotope that decays into argon. Eliot Bush, Scientific American, "The Meaning of Time in the Place where Humanity's Earliest Ancestors Arose," 27 June 2020 Radiocarbon dating is based on measurement of the radioactive isotope, carbon 14, and radioactive decay is a random process at the atomic level, so any 14C measurement depends on the statistical behavior of all the 14C atoms present. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Old wasp nests help us understand old art," 5 Mar. 2020 These isotopes, passed along from plant-eating prey to carnivorous predators, identify victims’ preferred habitat as open versus forested environments. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Fossils Reveal Why Coyotes Outlived Saber-Toothed Cats," 6 Aug. 2019 The colder the temperature, the more that heavier isotopes are present. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, "Retreating Exit Glacier has become an icon of climate change," 4 Aug. 2017 Among the isotopes created by a thermonuclear blast is a rare, radioactive version of carbon, called carbon 14. Carl Zimmer, The Atlantic, "Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth With a Radioactive Spike," 20 Mar. 2020 Soils contain levels of strontium and neodymium isotopes that vary from region to region, but stay constant over the centuries—especially at the depths tapped by the roots of oak trees. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "The Stories of Notre Dame, as Told by Timber and Limestone," 19 Mar. 2020 The nucleus is a prolate spheroid, like a rugby ball, and should lead to discovery of more wobbly isotopes. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Sad: This Isotope Lives for Just 8 Minutes and Leaves Behind a Wobbly Nucleus," 12 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for isotope

Time Traveler

The first known use of isotope was in 1913

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Statistics for isotope

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Isotope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/isotope. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for isotope

isotope

noun
How to pronounce isotope (audio)

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 How to pronounce isotope (audio) \

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

Other Words from isotope

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on isotope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with isotope

Spanish Central: Translation of isotope

Nglish: Translation of isotope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of isotope for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about isotope

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