stron·​tium | \ˈsträn(t)-sh(ē-)əm, ˈsträn-tē-əm\

Definition of strontium 

: a soft malleable ductile metallic element of the alkaline-earth group occurring only in combination and used especially in color TV tubes, in crimson fireworks, and in the production of some ferrites — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of strontium in a Sentence

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Scientists can determine migration patterns by measuring strontium isotope ratios in tooth enamel, which forms in early childhood. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 As the strontium in the bedrock dissolves, plants take it up through their roots. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "People buried at Stonehenge may have come from as far away as Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 Her colleagues also analyzed isotopes of strontium and oxygen that the teeth and bones had absorbed. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 Most of the Aztec tesserae had strontium isotope ratios ranging from 0.705 to 0.706–much too low to have come from Arizona. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New study rethinks pre-Columbian turquoise trade," 14 June 2018 In contrast, at a later ceremonial site where the catchment was quite small, all of the objects and human remains were from the immediate environs, as evidenced by strontium analysis. Charles Stanish, Smithsonian, "How Feasting Rituals Help Shape Human Civilization," 5 July 2018 Our colleague Kelly Knudson from Arizona State University analyzed the strontium ratios in 39 organic objects found in the patios as offerings. Charles Stanish, Smithsonian, "How Feasting Rituals Help Shape Human Civilization," 5 July 2018 Atmospheric chemist Kim Prather will do a spot check for the metal, and look for strontium, copper and other chemicals associated with fireworks. Gary Robbins,, "Monitoring the air around July Fourth fireworks for signs of dangerous lead," 4 July 2018 Calcium, for instance, will glow orange, barium green, and strontium red. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018

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

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for strontium

New Latin, from strontia strontium oxide, from obsolete English strontian, from Strontian, village in Scotland

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of strontium was in 1808

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English Language Learners Definition of strontium

: a soft silver-white metal that is used in color TV tubes and red fireworks


stron·​tium | \ˈsträn-ch(ē-)əm, ˈstränt-ē-əm \

Medical Definition of strontium 

: a soft malleable ductile bivalent metallic element of the alkaline-earth group occurring only in combination symbol Sr — see Chemical Elements Table

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