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

Relatively low levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopes indicate a diet rich in forest plant material or prey that ate it. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Some dogs were royalty, others were dinner in ancient Mayan culture," 19 Mar. 2018 In addition, the zinc that remained was preferentially composed of heavy isotopes, which do not evaporate as easily, the researchers said. Mike Wall, Space.com, "First Atomic Blast Reveals Clues About Moon Formation," 8 Feb. 2017 By comparing the ratio of these isotopes, archaeologists can determine how long ago the newest rock layer was laid down—this provides a minimum age for the art beneath. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The world’s oldest figurative drawing depicts a wounded animal," 9 Nov. 2018 The analysis of isotopes in beluga bone and teeth by University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers showed belugas formerly fed on prey that had little contact with freshwater. Washington Post, "Research shows diet shift of beluga whales in Alaska inlet," 17 June 2018 Inhaling even a dust speck of one of those isotopes can be dangerous. Vince Beiser, WIRED, "The Robot Assault On Fukushima," 26 Apr. 2018 Scientists can determine migration patterns by measuring strontium isotope ratios in tooth enamel, which forms in early childhood. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Examining the Elasmotherium's teeth, scientists were able to compare the carbon and nitrogen isotopes found there with a variety of plant species. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Unicorns Rhinos Were Real and Lived With Humans, New Study Says," 27 Nov. 2018 The ratio of the oxygen-18 isotope to oxygen-16 depends on temperature, precipitation, and evaporation. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthal teeth reveal lead exposure and difficult winters," 31 Oct. 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

14 Feb 2019

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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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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