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
2 : nuclide

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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

Less than 1 percent of naturally occurring uranium is U-235, a highly radioactive isotope, and enrichment means increasing that level. Megan Specia, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran says it has surpassed critical nuclear enrichment limit in 2015 accord," 8 July 2019 But the isotope analysis alone can only point to a broad area that has similar geology. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "People buried at Stonehenge may have come from as far away as Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 Boosting its purity to 20% means removing 22 more unwanted isotopes per atom of U-235, while going from there to 90% purity means removing just four more per atom of U-235. Jon Gambrell, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days," 17 June 2019 Boosting its purity to 20% means removing 22 more unwanted isotopes per atom of U-235, while going from there to 90% purity means removing just four more per atom of U-235. Jon Gambrell, Fortune, "Iran Says It Will Break Uranium Stockpile Limit in 10 Days," 17 June 2019 This process relies on measuring the presence of carbon-14 (14C), a mildly radioactive isotope created naturally in the atmosphere by cosmic rays. The Economist, "Researchers find a way to use minute samples to detect forged paintings," 8 June 2019 Scores were already dead, more were dying an agonizing death from acute radiation poisoning, and thousands were inhaling and eating and drinking the radioactive isotopes that would cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and thyroid and other cancers. Mona Charen, National Review, "Lessons of Chernobyl," 7 June 2019 The imaging was done using a rare and stable isotope of nitrogen, N15. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How old are your organs? Salk, UCSD mouse study finds human clues," 6 June 2019 The waste includes isotopes of iodine, strontium, americium, plutonium, uranium and other unstable elements, many of which are toxic as well as radioactive. Ralph Vartabedian, latimes.com, "Nuclear waste will be classified as safer under a controversial Trump administration change," 5 June 2019

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

18 Jul 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 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
2 : nuclide

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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