lan·​tha·​num | \ ˈlan(t)-thə-nəm How to pronounce lanthanum (audio) \

Definition of lanthanum

: 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 Egyptian glasses tended to have higher levels of lanthanum, zirconium and titanium, while Near Eastern glasses tended to have more chromium. Carolyn Wilke, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Nov. 2021 The first class includes repeating cagelike structures made from hydrogen atoms, with each cage enclosing an electron-rich metal atom, such as lanthanum or yttrium. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 26 Aug. 2021 In the mid-1980s, experiments with copper oxides with the elements lanthanum and barium broke the longstanding temperature record by several degrees, being found to superconduct at temperatures greater than 30 K. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Over the next 3 years, Eremets and others boosted the Tc as high as 250 K in hydrides containing the heavy metal lanthanum. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 26 Aug. 2021 The composition of the deposit, however, is such that more than three-quarters of the rare earth elements are the light rare earths cerium and lanthanum, used in oil refining equipment and catalytic converters in internal combustion engine vehicles. Mary Hui, Quartz, 15 July 2021 The problem is that while demand for praseodymium and neodymium is high there is limited demand for other elements which are mined in conjunction, such as cerium and lanthanum. Tim Treadgold, Forbes, 3 Mar. 2021 Ferrocerium is an alloy made from iron, along with cerium, lanthanum, and several other rare-earth minerals. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, 2 Dec. 2020 Four years later, the same lab used lanthanum hydride to hit −10 degrees under 1.8 million atmospheres, even as another group found evidence for superconductivity in the same compound at 8 degrees. Quanta Magazine, 14 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lanthanum.' 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 lanthanum

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lanthanum

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

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The first known use of lanthanum was in 1841

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lanthanum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for lanthanum


lan·​tha·​num | \ -nəm How to pronounce lanthanum (audio) \

Medical Definition of lanthanum

: a white soft malleable metallic element that occurs in rare-earth minerals symbol La — see Chemical Elements Table

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