zir·​co·​ni·​um | \ ˌzər-ˈkō-nē-əm How to pronounce zirconium (audio) \

Definition of zirconium

: a steel-gray hard ductile metallic element with a high melting point that occurs widely in combined form (as in zircon), is highly resistant to corrosion, and is used especially in alloys and in refractories and ceramics — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of zirconium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The site has only trace amounts of radioactivity, Mr. Barnes said from Australia, but rich deposits of metals like tantalum, used in mobile phones, and zirconium, used in fuel cells and various kinds of electronics. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 In addition, the surfaces of the pottery and meltglass are speckled with tiny melted metallic grains, including iridium with a melting point of 4,435 F (2,466 C), platinum that melts at 3,215 F (1,768 C) and zirconium silicate at 2,800 F (1,540 C). Christopher R. Moore, The Conversation, 20 Sep. 2021 In the early 1970s, Rocketdyne researchers created a new copper-zirconium alloy called NARloy-Z expressly for use on the engine. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 4 July 2021 When part of the Unit Four reactor’s core melted down on 26 April 1986, uranium fuel rods, their zirconium cladding, graphite control rods, and sand dumped on the core to try to extinguish the fire melted together into a lava. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, 5 May 2021 Her dragonfly earrings, meanwhile, are by Laguna Pueblo metalsmith Pat Pruitt, who carves out intricate designs from materials such as zirconium, titanium, and stainless steel. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 18 Mar. 2021 Instead of the original’s zirconium oxide ceramic, the new watch’s case, chronograph pusher and pin buckle are made from Ceratanium. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 26 Feb. 2021 In Georgia, a controversial plan to mine titanium and zirconium near the Okefenokee Swamp — the largest national wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River — is moving ahead without federal oversight. Anchorage Daily News, 31 Oct. 2020 Some have hard zirconium inserts, so the line doesn't wear a groove. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, 17 Oct. 2020

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

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zirconium

New Latin, from International Scientific Vocabulary zircon

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Time Traveler for zirconium

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The first known use of zirconium was in 1808

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Dictionary Entries Near zirconium



zirconium hydride

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zirconium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zirconium. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for zirconium


zir·​co·​ni·​um | \ (ˌ)zər-ˈkō-nē-əm How to pronounce zirconium (audio) \

Medical Definition of zirconium

: a steel-gray strong ductile chiefly tetravalent metallic element with a high melting point symbol Zr — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on zirconium

Nglish: Translation of zirconium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zirconium


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