yt·​tri·​um | \ ˈi-trē-əm How to pronounce yttrium (audio) \

Definition of yttrium

: a metallic element with atomic number 39 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, alloys, and treatments for certain cancers — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of yttrium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Solids are memorable The case for ions in crystal, like ytterbium in yttrium-aluminum-garnet, is a bit different. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 30 Nov. 2019 Rare earths include elements such as neodymium, used in magnets, and yttrium, used for electronics. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2019 Nitrogen is put in diamond, phosphorous in silicon, and ytterbium in yttrium-aluminum-garnet crystals. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 30 Nov. 2019 That year, Orenstein and his colleagues at Bell Labs studied a cuprate called yttrium barium copper oxide and found that, like Bednorz and Müller’s sample, its electrical resistance dropped linearly as it was cooled toward its critical temperature. Quanta Magazine, 19 Nov. 2018 For instance, yttrium, one of the metals included in this recent discovery, can be used to make camera lenses, superconductors and cell phone screens. Aj Willingham, CNN, 16 Apr. 2018 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, 16 Apr. 2018 The superconductor in question is a steel ribbon, coated with yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, 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, 12 Apr. 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.

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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

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The first known use of yttrium was in 1814

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yttrium metal

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Cite this Entry

“Yttrium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for yttrium


yt·​tri·​um | \ ˈi-trē-əm How to pronounce yttrium (audio) \

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

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