- a brittle, grayish-white, red-tinged, metallic element used in the manufacture of fusible alloys and in medicine. Symbol: Bi; atomic weight: 208.980; atomic number: 83.
Origin of bismuth
- a brittle pinkish-white crystalline metallic element having low thermal and electrical conductivity, which expands on cooling. It is widely used in alloys, esp low-melting alloys in fire safety devices; its compounds are used in medicines. Symbol: Bi; atomic no: 83; atomic wt: 208.98037; valency: 3 or 5; relative density: 9.747; melting pt: 271.4°C; boiling pt: 1564±5°C
Word Origin and History for bismuth
1660s, from obsolete German Bismuth, also Wismut, Wissmuth (early 17c.), of unknown origin; perhaps a miner's contraction of wis mat "white mass," from Old High German hwiz "white." Latinized 1530 by Georgius Agricola (who may have been the first to recognize it as an element) as bisemutum. According to Klein, not from Arabic.
- A metallic element used in various low-melting alloys and having many medical applications, including as an x-ray contrast medium and in compounds that are used as astringents, antiseptics, treatments of gastrointestinal disturbances, and suppressants of lupus erythematosus. Atomic number 83.
- A brittle, pinkish-white, crystalline metallic element that occurs in nature as a free metal and in various ores. Bismuth is the most strongly diamagnetic element and has the highest atomic number of all stable elements. It is used to make low-melting alloys for fire-safety devices. Atomic number 83; atomic weight 208.98; melting point 271.3°C; boiling point 1,560°C; specific gravity 9.747; valence 3, 5. See Periodic Table.