xe·​non ˈzē-ˌnän How to pronounce xenon (audio) ˈze- How to pronounce xenon (audio)
: a heavy colorless and relatively inert gaseous element that occurs in air as about one part in 20 million and is used especially in specialized electric lamps (such as flash tubes) and in scientific research see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of xenon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Psyche will launch with 2,392 pounds of xenon in seven 22-gallon tanks. William Harwood, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2023 The headlights, unique to the Turbo, arch down into the bumper and utilize xenon illumination for high- and low-beam lighting. Peter Robinson, Car and Driver, 23 July 2023 The experiment basically relies on the scientists exposing their detector to a massive amount of xenon atoms, roughly 3.2 tons of liquid xenon. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 7 July 2022 The latest is from XENON100, a liquid-xenon scintillation detector under the mountain in Gran Sasso, Italy. Sean Carroll, Discover Magazine, 20 July 2012 Other colors can come from things like LED billboards or high-intensity xenon lights on deep-sea oil platforms and fishing boats. Lee Billings, Scientific American, 20 Dec. 2016 By contrast, LightStrike robots have a powerful xenon UV-C light source capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of viruses in a matter of minutes. Dalvin Brown, Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2020 Vast night vision camera is an accessory worth consideration — especially if your father’s vehicle happens to be an older model and not equipped with the latest lighting technology like high-intensity xenon or LED headlights. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, 19 June 2020 Lauched in 2011, their LightStrike robot’s pulsed xenon lamp shoots intense UV light in millisecond flashes, deactivating a whole range of microbes, including bacteria, spores, fungi and viruses. Dinsa Sachan, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Apr. 2020

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

Word History


Greek, neuter of xenos strange

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of xenon was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near xenon

Cite this Entry

“Xenon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xenon. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a heavy colorless gaseous element that occurs in air in minute quantities and is used especially in specialized electric lamps see element

Medical Definition


: a heavy, colorless, and relatively inert gaseous element that occurs in air as about one part in 20 million by volume
symbol Xe
see Chemical Elements Table

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