rho·​di·​um | \ ˈrō-dē-əm How to pronounce rhodium (audio) \

Definition of rhodium

: a rare silvery-white hard ductile metallic element that is resistant to acids, sometimes occurs naturally in pure form but is usually obtained from nickel ores, and is used especially as a catalyst and in platinum alloys — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of rhodium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The converters, which help reduce vehicle emissions, use metals like palladium and rhodium — commodities that have seen historic price increases in recent years. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, "CHP finds cache of catalytic converters after 135 mph chase on Bay Bridge," 11 Feb. 2021 The addition of plating rhodium over a medium silver content helps with the tarnish aspect and keeps it quite reflective. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "All aglow with circumstance: Yenke Peddler antiques," 10 Dec. 2020 The gold is made of goldtone plate and the silver is made of rhodium plate. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Most Stylish Clip-On Earrings You Can Wear Everyday," 14 Aug. 2020 This metal is typically plated with rhodium (a shiny white metal similar to platinum), which can develop a slightly yellow color when exposed to alcohol over time. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Can Hand Sanitizer Ruin Your Rings?," 6 July 2020 Simply put, the device filtered the exhaust through tiny passages in a ceramic honeycomb coated with a combination of various oxides, platinum, and rhodium. Sam Roberts, BostonGlobe.com, "John J. Mooney, inventor of the catalytic converter," 28 June 2020 The devices, which are found in a vehicle’s exhaust, contain expensive metals — most often palladium, platinum and rhodium — that can be sold or recycled, police said. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "Mill Valley police see uptick in catalytic converter thefts," 21 June 2020 Supply is notoriously thin and unpredictable, and so too could be demand as electric cars don’t have much need for rhodium. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "After 5 years of negative interest rates, Europe has no idea how to climb back to zero," 24 Jan. 2020 More than four-fifths of global demand for both rhodium and palladium comes from the automotive industry. The Economist, "Daily chart The price of rhodium reaches an 11-year high," 21 Jan. 2020

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

1804, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rhodium

Greek rhódon "rose" + -ium; from the rose color of a chlorine compound of the metal obtained during its isolation

Note: Name introduced by the discoverer of the metal, William Hyde wollaston, in "On a new Metal, found in crude Platina," "read June 24, 1804," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the Year 1804, Part II, p. 419: "My inquiries having terminated more successfully than I had expected, I design the present Memoir to prove the existence, and to examine the properties, of another metal, hitherto unknown, which may not improperly be distinguished by the name of Rhodium, from the rose-colour of a solution of the salts containing it."

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Time Traveler for rhodium

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The first known use of rhodium was in 1804

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Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rhodium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhodium. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for rhodium


rho·​di·​um | \ ˈrōd-ē-əm How to pronounce rhodium (audio) \

Medical Definition of rhodium

: a white hard ductile metallic element that is resistant to attack by acids, occurs in platinum ores, and is used in alloys with platinum symbol Rh — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on rhodium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhodium

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