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

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 Her colleagues also analyzed isotopes of strontium and oxygen that the teeth and bones had absorbed. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 To get a more precise view of how human behavior impacted the islands, Swift and her colleagues used stable isotope analysis. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Rat Bones Reveal How Humans Transformed Their Island Environments," 7 June 2018 The shells contained a disproportionate volume of oxygen−16, a lighter form (or isotope) of the element that is found in high levels in glaciers. Christopher Mooney, BostonGlobe.com, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 But the isotope is so abundant on the moon its waste-free nuclear power could meet global energy demand for the next 250 years. Kathleen Hunter, Bloomberg.com, "Travel Ban Win Could Embolden Trump on Border," 27 June 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

12 Sep 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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