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platinum

[plat-n-uh m, plat-nuh m]
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noun
  1. Chemistry. a heavy, grayish-white, highly malleable and ductile metallic element, resistant to most chemicals, practically unoxidizable except in the presence of bases, and fusible only at extremely high temperatures: used for making chemical and scientific apparatus, as a catalyst in the oxidation of ammonia to nitric acid, and in jewelry. Symbol: Pt; atomic weight: 195.09; atomic number: 78; specific gravity: 21.5 at 20°C.
  2. a light, metallic gray with very slight bluish tinge when compared with silver.
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adjective
  1. made of platinum.
  2. (of an audio recording) having sold a minimum of one million copies.
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Origin of platinum

1805–15; < New Latin, alteration of earlier platina < Spanish; see platina
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for platinum

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • About her neck was a chain of blue stones linked with platinum.

  • Anybody can be liberal if someone else furnishes the platinum.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • “Good thing she has platinum crosshairs,” he said to Ashton.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • The metal which possesses this property to the highest degree, is platinum.

  • Only platinum could exist there, and the matter had to rearrange itself as platinum.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell


British Dictionary definitions for platinum

platinum

noun
  1. a ductile malleable silvery-white metallic element, very resistant to heat and chemicals. It occurs free and in association with other platinum metals, esp in osmiridium: used in jewellery, laboratory apparatus, electrical contacts, dentistry, electroplating, and as a catalyst. Symbol: Pt; atomic no: 78; atomic wt: 195.08; valency: 1–4; relative density: 21.45; melting pt: 1769°C; boiling pt: 3827±100°C
    1. a medium to light grey colour
    2. (as adjective)a platinum carpet
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from platina, on the model of other metals with the suffix -um
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

Word Origin and History for platinum

n.

metallic element, 1812, Modern Latin, from Spanish platina "platinum," diminutive of plata "silver," from Old French plate or Old Provençal plata "sheet of metal" (see plate (n.)). The metal looks like silver, and the Spaniards at first thought it an inferior sort of silver, hence the name platina. It was first obtained from Spanish colonies in Mexico and Colombia, brought to Europe in 1735, and identified as an element 1741. Taken into English as platina (c.1750), it took its modern form (with element ending -ium) in 1812, at the time the names of elements were being regularized. As a shade of blond hair, attested from 1931. As a designation for a recording that has sold at least one million copies, it is attested from 1971.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

platinum in Medicine

platinum

(plătn-əm)
n. Symbol Pt
  1. A ductile malleable metallic element usually occurring mixed with other metals such as iridium, osmium, or nickel and used as a catalyst and in dentistry. Atomic number 78.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

platinum in Science

platinum

[plătn-əm]
Pt
  1. A soft, ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element that usually occurs with osmium, iridium, palladium, or nickel. It has a high melting point and does not corrode in air. Platinum is used as a catalyst and in making jewelry, electrical contacts, and dental crowns. Atomic number 78; atomic weight 195.08; melting point 1,772°C; boiling point 3,827°C; specific gravity 21.45; valence 2, 3, 4. See Periodic Table.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.