lanthanum

noun
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 Inside was a dust speck’s worth of the rare-earth metal lanthanum and a bit of hydrogen gas, which theorists had predicted could morph into a novel compound under the enormous pressure of 2.1 million atmospheres. Bob Henderson, Scientific American, "New Clues in the Hunt for a Room-Temperature Superconductor," 12 Oct. 2019 The Russian meteorological agency identified them as isotopes of strontium, two types of barium, and lanthanum but asserted that radiation levels are now normal in cities near the accident, which occurred Aug. 8 in the country’s north. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Russia identifies four radioactive isotopes from nuclear accident," 26 Aug. 2019 The Russian meteorological agency identified them as isotopes of strontium, two types of barium and lanthanum, but asserted that radiation levels are now normal in cities near the accident, which occurred on Aug. 8 in the country’s north. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russia Identifies 4 Radioactive Isotopes From Nuclear Accident," 26 Aug. 2019 Marine scientists at China’s Guangxi Key Laboratory recently deduced the strength of East Asian winter monsoons over the past 150 years by measuring levels of rare earth elements, such as lanthanum and cerium, in each layer of a Porites coral core. Quanta Magazine, "Cores From Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future," 29 May 2018 On a recent visit, Lynas technicians mixed rare earth concentrate, which looks to the untrained eye like unremarkable dirt, into chemical tanks that extract elements like lanthanum and cerium. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, "How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War," 11 July 2018 But Reuters notes that while neodymium costs about $100 per kg and dysprosium costs about $400 per kg, lanthanum and cerium cost about $5 to $7 per kg. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Toyota’s new magnet won’t depend on some key rare-earth minerals," 28 Feb. 2018 Marine scientists at China’s Guangxi Key Laboratory recently deduced the strength of East Asian winter monsoons over the past 150 years by measuring levels of rare earth elements, such as lanthanum and cerium, in each layer of a Poritescoral core. Elizabeth Svoboda, Scientific American, "Cores from Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future," 6 June 2018 Instead of neodymium or dysprosium, the magnet uses less-expensive rare-earth metals lanthanum and cerium. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Toyota’s new magnet won’t depend on some key rare-earth minerals," 28 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lanthanum

Time Traveler for lanthanum

Time Traveler

The first known use of lanthanum was in 1841

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lanthanum

Cite this Entry

“Lanthanum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lanthanum. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lanthanum

lanthanum

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on lanthanum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lanthanum

Comments on lanthanum

What made you want to look up lanthanum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!