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 Horse hairs had a scaly layer that was absent from those of the rhino, but the researchers were able to strip this away with a solution of lithium bromide. The Economist, "How to forge rhinoceros horn," 14 Nov. 2019 As befits the head of a company advancing ion-lithium battery technology, Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, founder and CEO of Cadenza Innovation, exudes positive energy. David Holahan,, "Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient," 8 Nov. 2019 The Anker PowerCore+ comes in at just under the FAA's 100-Wh battery restriction, with 26,800mAh (milliAmp hour) of power and a 3.7-volt standard lithium cell. CNN Underscored, "TSA-approved battery packs to bring on your next flight," 23 Oct. 2019 When it was repeatedly charged, thin strands of metallic lithium would grow out from the negative electrode., "Nobel Prize in chemistry honors work on lithium-ion batteries - The Boston Globe," 10 Oct. 2019 This eliminated pure lithium from the battery entirely. New York Times, "Lithium-Ion Batteries Work Earns Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 3 Scientists," 9 Oct. 2019 Residents are demanding an end to the deal, which seeks to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries and a lithium hydroxide plant. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Protests in Bolivia over lithium deal with German company," 7 Oct. 2019 In May, a Tesla official told a gathering of miners, regulators and lawmakers that the company projects a looming shortage of copper, nickel and lithium — all critical to making batteries and other car parts. Adam Minter, Twin Cities, "Adam Minter: Big Tech needs to save the deep seas," 11 Aug. 2019 The aluminum, rubber and lithium used to make these short-lived devices are the main culprits, the study found. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "E-Scooters are worse for the environment than many claim, study indicates," 6 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for lithium

Time Traveler

The first known use of lithium was in 1818

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Statistics for lithium

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lithium.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for lithium


How to pronounce lithium (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lithium

Spanish Central: Translation of lithium

Nglish: Translation of lithium for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on lithium

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


heavy with or as if with moisture

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