lith·i·um | \ ˈli-thē-əm \

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 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 weapon is powered by a lithium battery capable of supplying power for up to a thousand two-second shots. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Claims to Have a Laser Assault Rifle That Can Set Clothes on Fire," 3 July 2018 Today, a new fire risk is rising: lithium batteries brought on board by passengers. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Accidents that changed aviation: Controlling in-flight fires," 10 June 2018 These batteries would require a large amount of lithium, but no cobalt, and would be much safer than the current lithium-ion batteries. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "Alternatives to Cobalt, the Blood Diamond of Batteries," 7 June 2018 Quimica & Minera de Chile sits on the world’s richest deposit of lithium., "Five things to know in Business," 30 Apr. 2018 But neither nickel nor hydrogen can match the energy-capturing power of lithium, a highly reactive element. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Sometimes Even the International Space Station Needs New Batteries," 30 Dec. 2016 Clarification: Last week’s column on power yard tools incorrectly stated the number of potential recharges for the EGO lithium-battery. Marni Jameson,, "7 mistakes rookie DIY decorators make," 13 July 2018 Their ciabatta-size lithium batteries last a full day and hold enough power to help the rider (that would be us) climb any hill in four possible speeds: slow, medium, faster, and like-a-rocket., "A modern wonder — the electric bike — lets us relive the good old days in France," 11 July 2018 The car’s lithium-ion high-voltage battery ignited twice more after the initial fire, as the Model S sedan was being loaded onto a tow truck and again at a storage yard, the NTSB said. Victoria Ballard,, "Tesla's new speed control feature dedicated to Fort Lauderdale teen," 1 July 2018

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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Statistics for lithium

Last Updated

19 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for lithium

The first known use of lithium was in 1818

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English Language Learners Definition of lithium

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


lith·i·um | \ ˈlith-ē-əm \

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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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