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[jer-mey-nee-uh m] /dʒərˈmeɪ ni əm/
noun, Chemistry.
a scarce, metallic, grayish-white element, normally tetravalent, used chiefly in transistors. Symbol: Ge; atomic weight: 72.59; atomic number: 32; specific gravity: 5.36 at 20°C.
Origin of germanium
First recorded in 1885-90; German(y) + -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for germanium
Historical Examples
  • Other elements are named from countries or localities, as germanium and scandium.

  • Some of you will go to the germanium mines, some to the fishing fleet, some will be apprenticed to various trades.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • In 1875 Lecoq de Boisbandram discovered gallium, which filled one of the gaps; scandium and germanium filled the other two later.

  • germanium 64 is not at all stable, and neither is Neodymium 128, but the instability can be corrected by positive beta emission.

    The Bramble Bush Gordon Randall Garrett
  • germanium: an ovary: that portion of an ovarian tube containing the cell elements.

  • Its negative pendant shows the same form in silicon, germanium and tin; again, the fourth was unexamined.

    Occult Chemistry

    Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • On the one side is carbon, with below it titanium and zirconium; on the other silicon, with germanium and tin.

    Occult Chemistry

    Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • It was a true answer, for all statements made by England culminated in the one sentence germanium esse delendam.

    In the World War Count Ottokar Czernin
  • Tin and lead, together with silicon and germanium, form a family in Group IV of the periodic table.

  • Silicon has been discussed along with the non-metals, while germanium, on account of its rarity, needs only to be mentioned.

British Dictionary definitions for germanium


a brittle crystalline grey element that is a semiconducting metalloid, occurring principally in zinc ores and argyrodite: used in transistors, as a catalyst, and to strengthen and harden alloys. Symbol: Ge; atomic no: 32; atomic wt: 72.61; valency: 2 or 4; relative density: 5.323; melting pt: 938.35°C; boiling pt: 2834°C
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after Germany
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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germanium in Medicine

germanium ger·ma·ni·um (jər-mā'nē-əm)
Symbol Ge
A brittle crystalline gray-white metalloid element, used as a semiconductor and in certain optical glasses. Atomic number 32; atomic weight 72.61; melting point 938.25°C; boiling point 2,830°C; specific gravity 5.323 (at 25°C); valence 2, 4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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germanium in Science
Symbol Ge
A brittle, crystalline, grayish-white metalloid element that is found in coal, in zinc ores, and in several minerals. It is used as a semiconductor and in wide-angle lenses. Atomic number 32; atomic weight 72.59; melting point 937.4°C; boiling point 2,830°C; specific gravity 5.323 (at 25°C); valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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