Definition of silicon
: a tetravalent nonmetallic element that occurs combined as the most abundant element next to oxygen in the earth's crust and is used especially in ferrosilicon for steelmaking, in other alloys, and in semiconductors — see element table
Recent Examples of silicon from the Web
Humans have learned to connect in this manner for tens of thousands of years, and silicon chips aren’t going to change that anytime soon.
But difficulties working with the material have meant that, for optimal performance, nanotube transistors have to be even larger than current silicon transistors, which are about 100 nanometers across.
A design flaw missed by computer simulations had made its way onto the tiny silicon chip.
Concentrations of water vapor, hydrogen sulfide and silicon particles in the gas must be reduced before the fuel is burned at Jones Island.
Silicon carbide can withstand 2,000 degrees C—the temperature of the hoped-for hotter engines.
Silicones are synthesized in factories and are made by combining silicon (an element found in sand) with oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and sometimes other materials.
Nearly every tech company worth its silicon now has a virtual assistant: Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant, among others.
The roofs project is running $3.9 million for the purchase and installation of silicon solar panels and $400,000 in costs for reinforcing the roofs to support the panels.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'silicon'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of silicon
New Latin silica + English -on (as in carbon)
First Known Use: 1817See Words from the same year
SILICON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of silicon for English Language Learners
: a chemical element that is found in the Earth's crust and is used especially in computers and electronics
SILICON Defined for Kids
Definition of silicon for Students
: a chemical element that next to oxygen is the most common element in the earth's crust and is used especially in electronic devices
Seen and Heard
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