Definition of lithium
1 : a soft silver-white element of the alkali metal group that is the lightest metal known and that is used especially in alloys and glass, in chemical synthesis, and in storage batteries — see element table
2 : a salt of lithium (such as lithium carbonate) used in psychiatric medicine
Recent Examples of lithium from the Web
Since 2010, the average cost of lithium-ion battery packs has plunged by two-thirds, to around $300 per kilowatt-hour.
Lithium-ion pack maker Leclanche SA recently got its 4.3-megawatt maritime battery approved by DNV GL, clearing the way for the market to grow.
Not including labor, the cost in materials to develop the device was $500, which largely covered a lithium battery to provide an independent power source.
Toyota still uses nickel-metal hydride batteries rather than the more expensive lithium-ion cells.
The 787 Dreamliner, with its composite-fibre chassis, lithium-ion batteries, and super-efficient engines, can fairly claim to be the coolest airplane in the world.
The settlement comes after a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who purchased products containing lithium-ion cylindrical batteries.
China’s market share for lithium-ion battery production is expected to grow to 65 percent from 55 percent by 2021.
With Chilean men and boys extracting lithium from underground brine pools?
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.
Origin and Etymology of lithium
New Latin, from lithia oxide of lithium, from Greek lithos
First Known Use: 1818See Words from the same year
LITHIUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lithium for English Language Learners
: a soft silver-white element that is the lightest metal known
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 element table
2: a lithium salt and especially lithium carbonate used in psychiatric medicine
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lithium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).