osmium

noun
os·​mi·​um | \ ˈäz-mē-əm How to pronounce osmium (audio) \

Definition of osmium

: a blue-gray or blue-black hard brittle very heavy polyvalent metallic element with a high melting point that is used especially as a catalyst and in hard alloys — see Chemical Elements Table

First Known Use of osmium

1804, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for osmium

Greek osmḗ "smell, odor" + -ium; osmḗ going back to *od-s-mā, noun derivative from the base of ózein "to smell, give off an odor" — more at odor

Note: The word osmium was introduced by the English chemist Smithson Tennant (1761-1815) in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1804, Part II, p. 416: "When the alkaline solution [obtained by dissolving impure platinum] is first formed, by adding water to the dry alkaline mass in the crucible, a pungent and peculiar smell is immediately perceived. This smell, as I afterwards discovered, arises from the extrication of a very volatile metallic oxide; and, as this smell is one of its most distinguishing characters, I should on that account incline to call the metal Osmium." In the same report Tennant discussed and named the element iridium (see iridium).

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The first known use of osmium was in 1804

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osmium

noun
os·​mi·​um | \ ˈäz-mē-əm How to pronounce osmium (audio) \

Medical Definition of osmium

: a hard brittle blue-gray or blue-black polyvalent metallic element of the platinum group with a high melting point that is the heaviest metal known and that is used especially as a catalyst and in hard alloys symbol Os — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on osmium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about osmium

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