polonium

noun
po·lo·ni·um | \ pə-ˈlō-nē-əm \

Definition of polonium 

: a radioactive metallic element that is similar chemically to tellurium and bismuth, occurs especially in pitchblende and radium-lead residues, and emits an alpha particle to form an isotope of lead — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of polonium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The killers of Alexander Litvinenko, who died of polonium poisoning in 2006, left a trail of radiation across London. The Economist, "A new Novichok poisoning in Britain," 5 July 2018 Russia has a track record: in London in 2006 its agents assassinated Alexander Litvinenko, another ex-spy, by slipping polonium into his tea. The Economist, "Conspiracy theories from, and about, Russia," 14 Apr. 2018 In 2006, another former Russian spy, Alexander V. Litvinenko, was fatally poisoned in London with a radioactive element, polonium 210, an assassination that Britain contends was directed by Moscow, which Russia denies. Michael Wolgelenter And Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "Yulia Skripal Released From U.K. Hospital After Poisoning," 10 Apr. 2018 British forensic scientists were ultimately able to determine which Russian reactor the polonium had come from. Tom Tugendhat, Time, "Russia Is Now a Rogue State. We Must Treat It Like One," 15 Mar. 2018 Other evidence includes intelligence that Russia has experimented with chemical agents for assassinations and previously targeted former Russian agents—including Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Truth and Lies in Britain and Russia," 4 Apr. 2018 The attack evoked memories of the 2006 murder with polonium of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London, which was linked to Mr. Putin. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Vladimir Taunts the West," 15 Mar. 2018 Critics say the British authorities took only modest countermeasures after Russian agents poisoned a former MI6 informant in 2006 with the rare isotope polonium 210. Ellen Barry And Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "Britain Blames Moscow for Poisoning of Former Russian Spy," 12 Mar. 2018 In 2006, Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko died after being poisoned with polonium in England. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Russia Expels 23 British Diplomats in Tit for Tat Over Spy Poisoning," 17 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polonium.' 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 polonium

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polonium

New Latin, from Medieval Latin Polonia

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Dictionary Entries near polonium

Polonian

Polonism

Polonist

polonium

Polonius

polonization

polonize

Statistics for polonium

Last Updated

3 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for polonium

The first known use of polonium was in 1898

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More Definitions for polonium

polonium

noun
po·lo·ni·um | \ pə-ˈlō-nē-əm \

Medical Definition of polonium 

: a radioactive metallic element that is similar chemically to tellurium and bismuth, occurs especially in pitchblende and radium-lead residues, and emits an alpha particle to form an isotope of lead symbol Po — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on polonium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polonium

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