ter·​bi·​um | \ ˈtər-bē-əm How to pronounce terbium (audio) \

Definition of terbium

: a metallic element of the rare-earth group with atomic number 65 that occurs naturally only in combination and that is used especially in alloys for electronic equipment and as a green phosphor (see phosphor sense 2) in electronic displays — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of terbium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The same goes for the use of europium and terbium in lighting applications. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 China processes more than half of the world’s cobalt, lithium, and the class of rare-earth elements (REEs) that includes neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, and terbium . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 12 Mar. 2022 Europium and terbium, for example, are needed to make HD screens; zinc and tin help make touch-responsive surfaces; and lithium is used in batteries — just to name a few. Rachel Ramirez And Clare Duffy, CNN, 3 Oct. 2021 NdFeB magnets containing the heavy rare earth dysprosium and sometimes terbium are particularly useful, because the presence of heavy rare earths improves the magnet’s ability to withstand high temperatures. Mary Hui, Quartz, 14 May 2021 Adding a heavy rare earth like dysprosium and sometimes terbium makes the magnet more temperature stable, and suitable for use in offshore wind turbines where maintenance costs are high. Mary Hui, Quartz, 23 Apr. 2021 During the last 34 million years, the fossils slowly absorbed yttrium, europium, terbium, and dysprosium from the fluid trapped in the mud. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2020 Greenland has some of the biggest deposits of neodymium, dysprosium, terbium, praseodymium, and uranium. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Aug. 2019 Neodymium, for example, is used to make magnets found in smartphone speakers and haptic feedback devices, while terbium is used to make solid state hard drives. Klint Finley, WIRED, 17 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terbium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of terbium

1843, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terbium

New Latin, from Ytterby, Sweden

Learn More About terbium

Time Traveler for terbium

Time Traveler

The first known use of terbium was in 1843

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near terbium



terbium metal

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for terbium

Cite this Entry

“Terbium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terbium. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for terbium


ter·​bi·​um | \ ˈtər-bē-əm How to pronounce terbium (audio) \

Medical Definition of terbium

: a usually trivalent metallic element of the rare-earth group symbol Tb — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on terbium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terbium


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!