yt·​tri·​um | \ˈi-trē-əm \

Definition of yttrium 

: a metallic element usually included in the rare-earth group that occurs usually with other rare earth elements in minerals and is used especially in phosphors, YAG lasers, and superalloys — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of yttrium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The 16 million tons of materials could contain 780 years worth of yttrium, 620 years worth of europium, 420 years worth of terbium, and 730 years worth of dysprosium. Aj Willingham, CNN, "How the mud in this small Japanese island could change the global economy," 16 Apr. 2018 The superconductor in question is a steel ribbon, coated with yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists: Fusion Power Could Be on the Grid in 15 Years," 9 Mar. 2018 The iPhone contains a chorus of eight rare earth elements: neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, terbium, gadolinium, europium, lanthanum, and yttrium. Edward Humes, WIRED, "Your iPhone’s 500,000-Mile Journey to Your Pocket," 12 Apr. 2016 The team called the color YInMn after the chemicals that were combined to create it: yttrium, indium and manganese oxides. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Crayola To Debut Crayon Inspired by New Shade of Blue," 9 May 2017 Yttrium and neodymium are alloyed to make the magnets in turbines for windmills. Nelson Ching, National Geographic, "How Acid—and Bacteria—Could Make Recycling Your Phone Greener," 10 June 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of yttrium

1814, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yttrium

New Latin, from yttria yttrium oxide (Y2O3), irregular from Ytterby, town in southern Sweden

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yttrium

Statistics for yttrium

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yttrium

The first known use of yttrium was in 1814

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yttrium


yt·​tri·​um | \ˈi-trē-əm \

Medical Definition of yttrium 

: a trivalent metallic element usually included among the rare earth elements which it resembles chemically and with which it occurs in minerals symbol Y — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on yttrium Encyclopedia article about yttrium

Comments on yttrium

What made you want to look up yttrium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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