radium

noun, often attributive
ra·​di·​um | \ ˈrā-dē-əm How to pronounce radium (audio) \

Definition of radium

: an intensely radioactive metallic chemical element that occurs in combination in minute quantities in minerals (such as pitchblende or carnotite), emits alpha particles and gamma rays to form radon, and is used chiefly in the treatment of cancer and in radiographic devices — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of radium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Officials say the water contains nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonia, and small amounts of radium and uranium, but is not radioactive. Curt Anderson, Star Tribune, "Florida to close wastewater reservoir with leak history," 13 Apr. 2021 Phosphogypsum contains small amounts of naturally occurring radium and uranium. USA Today, "Visual explainer: How crews pumped wastewater from reservoir into Tampa Bay to hold off breach, flood in Florida," 5 Apr. 2021 People were still very terrified by radiation poisoning, not just because of World War II, but because of the mid-century radium scare. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "Blancpain Just Released a Limited-Edition Tribute to a Classic ’60s Dive Watch," 16 Mar. 2021 The couple discovered polonium (named after Marie’s homeland, the Kingdom of Poland) and radium within a few months. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "Marie Curie: What to know about the first woman to win Nobel Prize," 16 Mar. 2021 Holes 14 and 15 were a former Superfund site once occupied by a company that used radium and mercury to manufacture components for fighter planes. Scott Kramer, Forbes, "How Golf Transformed This Lake Michigan Community," 12 Mar. 2021 Naturally occurring radium is a widespread problem in the deeper wells. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "50 miles away from one of the largest freshwater systems on Earth, why is groundwater running out in northeastern Illinois?," 26 Feb. 2021 Faced with well water contaminated by radium and in a county straddling the basin, Waukesha fought for years before gaining approval in 2016 to build a pipeline to access Lake Michigan water. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "50 miles away from one of the largest freshwater systems on Earth, why is groundwater running out in northeastern Illinois?," 26 Feb. 2021 This was also the way my sister and I were being raised, to save France (Joan of Arc), to discover radium (Marie Curie). Louise Glück, The New York Review of Books, "The Poet and the Reader: Nobel Lecture 2020," 5 Jan. 2021

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

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for radium

New Latin, from Latin radius ray

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Statistics for radium

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Radium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radium. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for radium

radium

noun

English Language Learners Definition of radium

: a radioactive element that is used medically in cancer treatments

radium

noun
ra·​di·​um | \ ˈrā-dē-əm How to pronounce radium (audio) \

Kids Definition of radium

: a strongly radioactive element found in very small quantities in various minerals (as pitchblende) and used in the treatment of cancer

radium

noun, often attributive
ra·​di·​um | \ ˈrād-ē-əm How to pronounce radium (audio) \

Medical Definition of radium

: an intensely radioactive shining white metallic element that resembles barium chemically, that occurs in combination in minute quantities in minerals (as pitchblende or carnotite) principally as the isotope of mass number 226 formed from uranium 238, having a half-life of 1620 years, and emitting alpha particles and gamma rays to form radon, and that is used chiefly in luminous materials and in the treatment of cancer symbol Ra — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on radium

Nglish: Translation of radium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about radium

Comments on radium

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