rhe·​ni·​um | \ ˈrē-nē-əm How to pronounce rhenium (audio) \

Definition of rhenium

: a rare heavy metallic element that is obtained either as a gray powder or as a silver-white hard metal, is usually extracted as a by-product of molybdenum smelting, and is used especially in catalysts and alloys — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of rhenium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An individual rhenium atom is just 205 picometers across: 205 trillionths of a meter, and .205 nanometers. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Whoa: Watch the First-Ever Video of Atoms Bonding Together," 22 Jan. 2020 As a transition metal, rhenium can be creative with its bonds. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch First Ever Footage of Atoms Forming and Breaking Bonds," 22 Jan. 2020 For example, the DoD is pushing to improve the recovery of rhenium, a rare earth element that is key to produce the new stealth Joint Strike Fighters for its exceptional heat-resistant properties. Lorenzo Franceschi-bicchierai, WIRED, "To Keep Stealth Edge, Pentagon Looks for New Ways to Mine ‘Rare Earths’," 7 Aug. 2012

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

1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rhenium

New Latin, from Latin Rhenus Rhine River

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Time Traveler for rhenium

Time Traveler

The first known use of rhenium was in 1925

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Statistics for rhenium

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rhenium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhenium. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rhenium


rhe·​ni·​um | \ ˈrē-nē-əm How to pronounce rhenium (audio) \

Medical Definition of rhenium

: a rare heavy metallic element that resembles manganese, is obtained either as a powder or as a silver-white hard metal, and is used in catalysts for dehydrogenation and in thermocouples symbol Re — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on rhenium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhenium

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