tan·​ta·​lum ˈtan-tə-ləm How to pronounce tantalum (audio)
: a gray-white ductile acid-resisting metallic element found combined in rare minerals (such as tantalite and columbite) and used especially in electronic components see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of tantalum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today’s solution is to deposit copper interconnects within trenches lined with 2-nanometer-thick walls of tantalum nitride. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Feb. 2017 But some of the money will also be spent at Boston Metal’s facility in Brazil, which uses the same technology to produce specialty metals like tin, niobium, and tantalum. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2023 The 42 mm timepiece is encased in tantalum, a rare, blue-grey, corrosion-resistant metal named after Tantalus of Greek mythology. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 23 July 2023 But what about the mines that produced the tantalum or palladium in your transistors? WIRED, 24 Mar. 2023 Finally, the new warhead also has 18 shallow metal ovals arranged in rows around the outside; Spleeters declined to comment on the specific metal inside, but warheads are typically made of very dense metals like tungsten or tantalum. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 24 Feb. 2023 The blue really pops next to the tantalum case—a first for Moser—because of its dark, bluish-gray color. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 22 Feb. 2023 There is also active mining in the region for diamonds and coltan, a metallic ore that yields the rare-earth element tantalum used in cellphones. Kejal Vyas |, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2018 Congo produces some two-thirds of the world’s cobalt, a mineral key in the production of lithium-ion batteries that power laptops and electric cars, as well as coltan, copper, tantalum and tin, all used in modern electronics. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2018 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from Latin Tantalus; from its inability to absorb acid

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tantalum was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near tantalum

Cite this Entry

“Tantalum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tantalum. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


tan·​ta·​lum ˈtant-ᵊl-əm How to pronounce tantalum (audio)
: a gray-white metallic element found in rare minerals and used especially in electronic devices see element

Medical Definition


tan·​ta·​lum ˈtant-ᵊl-əm How to pronounce tantalum (audio)
: a hard ductile gray-white acid-resisting metallic element of the vanadium family found combined in rare minerals and sometimes used in surgical implants and sutures
symbol Ta
see Chemical Elements Table

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