lanthanum

noun

lan·​tha·​num ˈlan(t)-thə-nəm How to pronounce lanthanum (audio)
: a white soft malleable metallic element that occurs in rare-earth minerals see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of lanthanum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The aquatic plant contains the elements platinum and rhodium, along with rare-earth elements like neodymium, lanthanum, yttrium and dysprosium. Devika Rao, theweek, 22 May 2024 Since 2015 a working group at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has been refereeing a debate over which elements should go in the third column of the table: lanthanum and actinium (elements 57 and 89) or lutetium and lawrencium (71 and 103). Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 14 May 2024 At present, the ‘hottest’ superconductor of any kind is considered to be lanthanum decahydride, a member of the super-hydride class that is proven to be a high-pressure, conventional superconductor at temperatures of up to at least 250 kelvin. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 17 Nov. 2023 To make the first one, lanthanum, start with a barium atom and add one proton and one electron. Stanley Merzman, Discover Magazine, 21 Aug. 2018 Adding one more electron – to make lanthanum, the first in the series of rare earth elements – puts that electron in the fifth circle. Stanley Merzman, Discover Magazine, 21 Aug. 2018 Chinese-mined rare earths like lanthanum are widely used by Western weapons producers for armor-piercing ammunition. Jonathan Tirone, Fortune, 22 Jan. 2023 The ceramic mix of Dr. Müller and Bednorz — lanthanum barium copper oxide — was a superconductor at slightly higher temperatures, around minus-400 degrees. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 The Prius gets its juice from a battery pack that contains about 20 pounds of lanthanum, which shuttles electrons between the battery’s positive and negative terminals. Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Discover Magazine, 21 Sep. 2011

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lanthanum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Greek lanthanein to escape notice — more at latent

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lanthanum was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near lanthanum

Cite this Entry

“Lanthanum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lanthanum. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

lanthanum

noun
lan·​tha·​num ˈlan(t)-thə-nəm How to pronounce lanthanum (audio)
: a white soft metallic element see element

Medical Definition

lanthanum

noun
lan·​tha·​num -nəm How to pronounce lanthanum (audio)
: a white soft malleable metallic element that occurs in rare-earth minerals
symbol La
see Chemical Elements Table

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