rho·​di·​um ˈrō-dē-əm How to pronounce rhodium (audio)
: 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 group chose to work with a particular strange metal made of ytterbium, rhodium and silicon because Natelson and Si’s longtime collaborator, Silke Bühler-Paschen of the Vienna University of Technology, had worked out how to grow the material in films just dozens of nanometers thick. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 27 Nov. 2023 The prices of the precious metals have tumbled, with rhodium’s price down to one-sixth of its 2021 peak. Jasmine Cui, NBC News, 5 Nov. 2023 The devices contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium in their cores and are often targeted by thieves because of their high value, lack of identifying markings and relative ease of theft. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2023 The metal components, as well as the traditional Pelikan beak-like clip, are finished with 24-karat gold, and the nib is bi-color: 18-karat gold and rhodium plate. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2023 Platinum is part of the six platinum-group metals (PGM), including palladium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, and osmium. Laxmi Corp, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Sep. 2023 The Last line also carries a variety of metals, including black rhodium, rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and sterling silver. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2023 They are stolen because the metals in them – rhodium, palladium and platinum – are highly valuable and worth thousands of dollars, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 16 Feb. 2023 Thieves are after what’s inside of catalytic converters — platinum, rhodium, and palladium, rare earth metals that are more valuable than gold, according to the nonprofit. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rhodium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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."

First Known Use

1804, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhodium was in 1804

Dictionary Entries Near rhodium

Cite this Entry

“Rhodium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhodium. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


rho·​di·​um ˈrōd-ē-əm How to pronounce rhodium (audio)
: a rare silvery white hard metallic element that is resistant to attack by acids, occurs in nickel ores, and is used in platinum alloys see element

Medical Definition


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

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