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 Existing additives include vinylene carbonate, fluoroethylene carbonate, ethylene sulfate, and lithium difluorophosphate. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Patents New Chemistry for Better Batteries," 27 Dec. 2019 The lithium nucleus is quite a complicated beast and can rattle around in all sorts of ways, meaning that the electron and positron have a certain amount of freedom in the direction in which they are emitted. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "New boson appears in nuclear decay, breaks standard model," 20 Dec. 2019 But Lowell’s illness had been stabilized by lithium treatments, and this was no mere episode — the feelings were serious. Troy Jollimore, Washington Post, "An intimate look at the scandal that tore apart a literary power couple," 19 Dec. 2019 Why can’t Doctor Manhattan use his powers when surrounded by synthetic lithium? Time, "All the Questions We Still Have After the End of Watchmen," 16 Dec. 2019 Whittingham developed the first functional lithium battery in the early 1970s, but Goodenough was able to double the battery's potential in 1980 by using lithium cobalt oxide as the cathode of a lithium-ion battery, the foundation said. Allen Kim, CNN, "John B. Goodenough just became the oldest person, at 97, to win a Nobel Prize," 9 Oct. 2019 The standard-range battery consists of 288 lithium-ion cells while the extended-range battery packs 376 cells. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "With Mustang Mach-E crossover, Ford travels a road less taken," 22 Nov. 2019 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

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

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The first known use of lithium was in 1818

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Statistics for lithium

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lithium.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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).


to insert between existing elements

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