lith·​i·​um | \ ˈli-thē-əm How to pronounce lithium (audio) \

Definition of lithium

1 : a chemical element of the alkali metal group that is the lightest metal known and that is used especially in alloys and glass, in mechanical lubricants, and in storage batteries — see Chemical Elements Table
2 : a salt of lithium (such as lithium carbonate) used in psychiatric medicine

Examples of lithium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Bolt’s lithium-ion cells were provided by GM’s longtime battery supplier LG Energy Solutions (the battery arm of giant Korean manufacturer LG). John Voelcker, Car and Driver, 13 Sep. 2021 Big car makers outside Japan must be having nightmares that Toyota might well suddenly announce a big technology breakthrough that will leave their lithium-ion technology stranded. Neil Winton, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021 Both saw how lithium-ion batteries could change the car market. New York Times, 8 Sep. 2021 The company uses nanomaterials and organic and inorganic compounds in its lithium-ion batteries to make extreme fast charging possible. Chris Smith, BGR, 7 Sep. 2021 RK Equity partner Howard Klein, who advises investors on lithium, said developers will want to avoid an increasingly hostile environment. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 17 Aug. 2021 When Britney refused to do the next Vegas Domination tour, she was put on lithium against her wishes, Rosengart said. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 But physicists have now created detectors that rely on lithium, rather than gadolinium. Sarah Scoles, Wired, 6 Oct. 2020 The issues surrounding the use of lithium-ion batteries as backup storage for renewable energy in power generation are numerous and well documented. David Blackmon, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021

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

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lithium

New Latin, from lithia oxide of lithium, from Greek lithos

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About lithium

Time Traveler for lithium

Time Traveler

The first known use of lithium was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near lithium



lithium aluminum hydride

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lithium

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lithium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lithium



English Language Learners Definition of lithium

: a soft silver-white element that is the lightest metal known


lith·​i·​um | \ ˈlith-ē-əm How to pronounce lithium (audio) \

Medical Definition of lithium

1 : a soft silver-white element of the alkali metal group that is the lightest metal known and that is used in chemical synthesis and in storage batteries symbol Li — see Chemical Elements Table
2 : a lithium salt and especially lithium carbonate used in psychiatric medicine

More from Merriam-Webster on lithium

Nglish: Translation of lithium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lithium for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lithium


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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