tung·sten | \ˈtəŋ-stən \

Definition of tungsten 

: a gray-white heavy high-melting ductile hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum in many of its properties and is used especially in carbide materials and electrical components (such as lamp filaments) and in hardening alloys (such as steel) — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of tungsten in a Sentence

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The screen looks good, but the room, like most of the gallery space, is still a mess, scattered with empty vitrines and submarine parts and carts of tungsten track lighting that was swapped out for UV. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Unseen Oceans: How the American Museum of Natural History Builds a New Exhibit," 21 June 2018 Next to the turntable, shielded inside a tungsten tube, is a high-resolution X-ray detector, called HEXITEC, that has taken engineers ten years to develop. Henrik Knudsen, Smithsonian, "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia," 26 June 2018 With Jaguar’s cannon another option is the A3B-T, Anti-Aerial Airburst-Tracer, that unleashes 200 tungsten pellets. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Formidable 'Jaguar' recon vehicle revealed, touts powerful cannon and anti-tank missiles," 18 June 2018 Yes, things like that, or conflict minerals disclosure [which required companies to tell investors whether their products contained tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo]. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The first woman president of the NYSE would really rather not talk about her gender," 14 June 2018 As border guards looked the other way, workers used carts to pull the cargo of metal ore — tungsten, lead, zinc, copper and gold concentrates, all banned from export under United Nations sanctions — across the frozen river. New York Times, "Sanctions Are Hurting North Korea. Can They Make Kim Give In?," 20 Apr. 2018 EcoKarat sells and repairs silver, gold, stainless steel, titanium and tungsten jewelry, like watches, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Caitlin Mullen, chicagotribune.com, "Back in business: EcoKarat jewelry shop returns to the Downtown Oak Park business district," 30 May 2018 Inside its cylinder is a spring-loaded tungsten block that will hammer thousands of times to slowly drive the mole to a depth of 3 meters, or about 10 feet. Emily Lakdawalla, Popular Mechanics, "Meet InSight: The Mission To Measure Marsquakes and Unlock the Red Planet," 30 Apr. 2018 After the craft touches down in late November, its robotic arm will deploy the volleyball-size seismometer and a heat probe, driving a rod 5 meters into the surface with thousands of strokes of a tungsten hammer. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "By listening for quakes on Mars, NASA lander will probe Red Planet’s interior," 18 Apr. 2018

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

1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tungsten

Swedish, from tung heavy + sten stone

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Time Traveler for tungsten

The first known use of tungsten was in 1796

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English Language Learners Definition of tungsten

: a hard metal that is used to make the thin wire in light bulbs and to harden other metals (such as steel)


tung·sten | \ˈtəŋ-stən \

Kids Definition of tungsten

: a grayish white hard metallic chemical element used especially for electrical parts (as for the fine wire in an electric light bulb) and to make alloys (as steel) harder


tung·sten | \ˈtəŋ-stən \

Medical Definition of tungsten 

: a gray-white heavy high-melting ductile hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum in many of its properties and is used especially for electrical purposes and in hardening alloys (as steel) symbol W

called also wolfram

— see Chemical Elements Table

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More from Merriam-Webster on tungsten

Spanish Central: Translation of tungsten

Nglish: Translation of tungsten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tungsten

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