xe·​non | \ˈzē-ˌnän, ˈze- \

Definition of xenon 

: 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 flashtubes) and in scientific research — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of xenon in a Sentence

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An electric propulsion engine—such as a Hall thruster that ionizes xenon gas—has a high specific impulse, as much as 10 times that of NTP. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Nuclear Thermal Engine Is a Blast From the Cold War Past," 21 Feb. 2018 Hayabusa2 is powered by ion engines, which accelerate charged atoms of xenon with an electric field to generate thrust. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Creeps Up on the Ryugu Asteroid," 25 June 2018 Two of the world’s three most sensitive xenon-tank experiments reported their latest results in October 2017. The Economist, "Particle physicsFundamental physics is frustrating physicists," 13 Jan. 2018 So these experiments use vast tanks filled with liquid xenon, which is denser than solid aluminum, as dark matter detectors. Dan Falk /, NBC News, "What is dark matter?," 7 May 2018 Instead of liquid or solid fuel, the craft was propelled by ions of xenon gas accelerated by an electric field. Pm Editors, Popular Mechanics, "110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years," 10 Dec. 2012 The Xenex LightStrike uses pulsed xenon, an environmentally-friendly noble gas, to create full-spectrum high-intensity ultraviolet (UV) light that can destroy infectious bacteria and viruses within five minutes. Candace Hoffman, azcentral, "Xena The Germinator," 2 May 2018 Another wall will be taken down to create a giant room for four compressors and a backup generator that will suck up literal tons of xenon in case of an emergency. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Construction Begins on Project to Find Dark Matter With 10 Tons of Liquid Xenon a Mile Underground in an Abandoned Gold Mine," 8 Feb. 2018 Its understated design is highlighted by a pair of xenon headlights that swivel with the steering wheel, a unique front end and side skirts, a rear spoiler, and four exhaust tips. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "2018 Volkswagen Golf R," 17 Jan. 2018

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

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for xenon

Greek, neuter of xenos strange

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Time Traveler for xenon

The first known use of xenon was in 1898

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English Language Learners Definition of xenon

: a chemical element that is a colorless gas and that is used especially in electric lights


xe·​non | \ˈzē-ˌnän, ˈzen-ˌän \

Medical Definition of xenon 

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on xenon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with xenon

Spanish Central: Translation of xenon

Nglish: Translation of xenon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about xenon

Comments on xenon

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a knickknack or trinket

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