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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This lightweight material comprises zirconium oxide and metallic oxides to produce the perfect green tint. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 15 Mar. 2023 Raw gold is typically muddied with other elements like silver, aluminum, or zirconium, and needs to be processed so that there are less than ten parts per million of other elements. Hazlitt, 1 Mar. 2023 Bone doesn't allow the ultrasonic sound waves through, but this special blend of yttrium and zirconium does. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 2 Aug. 2017 For starters, this stick-style antiperspirant uses aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex to reduce underarm wetness for days on end. Rachael Schultz, Verywell Health, 3 Mar. 2023 These require the insertion of a nanometer-thin layer of ferroelectric material, such as hafnium zirconium oxide, in the MOSFET’s gate stack. IEEE Spectrum, 8 July 2022 De Bethune’s signature spherical moon phase globe is executed here in palladium and black oxidized zirconium. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 22 Dec. 2021 It’s currently scheduled to come online in 2023 for not just rare earths but also lithium, gallium, hafnium, zirconium, and other key resources for electronics, magnets, and batteries. John Koetsier, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 The mine would extract titanium and zirconium less than three miles from the edge of the refuge on an ancient sand dune complex known as Trail Ridge, which forms the Okefenokee Swamp’s eastern boundary. Drew Kann, ajc, 19 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from International Scientific Vocabulary zircon

First Known Use

1808, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zirconium was in 1808

Dictionary Entries Near zirconium

Cite this Entry

“Zirconium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zirconium. Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


zir·​co·​ni·​um ˌzər-ˈkō-nē-əm How to pronounce zirconium (audio)
: a steel-gray strong metallic element with a high melting point that is used especially in combination with other metals see element

Medical Definition


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

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