transition metal

noun

Definition of transition metal

: any of various metallic elements (such as chromium, iron, and nickel) that have valence electrons in two shells instead of only one

called also transition element

Examples of transition metal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most atoms can only form bonds with the electrons on their outermost shells, but transition metals can use the electrons from two outer layers. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch First Ever Footage of Atoms Forming and Breaking Bonds," 22 Jan. 2020 Ruthenium is a transition metal, similar to platinum, that is used in electronics, solar cells, and some jewelry. Wired, "A Strange Radioactive Cloud Likely Came From Russia," 15 Aug. 2019

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

First Known Use of transition metal

1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for transition metal

from their being transitional between the more highly and the less highly electropositive elements

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Time Traveler for transition metal

Time Traveler

The first known use of transition metal was in 1929

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Statistics for transition metal

Last Updated

31 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Transition metal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transition%20metal. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on transition metal

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about transition metal

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