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[ruhth -er-ferd, ruhth-] /ˈrʌð ər fərd, ˈrʌθ-/
Daniel, 1749–1819, Scottish physician and chemist: discoverer of nitrogen.
Ernest (1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson) 1871–1937, English physicist, born in New Zealand: Nobel Prize in chemistry 1908.
John Sherman ("Johnny") born 1938, U.S. racing-car driver.
Joseph Franklin, 1869–1942, U.S. leader of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Dame Margaret, 1892–1972, British actress.
a city in NE New Jersey. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Rutherford
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They lived about five miles from Winchester, Va., in which city Rutherford had a fine legal practice.

  • "'Rutherford'—'Hastings-on-the-Hudson'—swagger name," commented the clerk.

    Skinner's Dress Suit Henry Irving Dodge
  • Mr. Rutherford, of Redheugh, was the most intimate friend of the family, and betrothed to the younger sister.

    Merkland Mrs. Oliphant
  • "Yes, uncle Rutherford knows that by my 'count-book," said unsuspicious Allie.

    Uncle Rutherford's Nieces Joanna H. Mathews
  • Two investigators determined experimentally the number for aluminum and their results agreed with Rutherford's calculations.

    A Brief Account of Radio-activity Francis Preston Venable
  • "The fellow tried to knife me in the back," explained Rutherford.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for Rutherford


a unit of activity equal to the quantity of a radioactive nuclide required to produce one million disintegrations per second rd
Word Origin
C20: named after Ernest Rutherford


Ernest, 1st Baron. 1871–1937, British physicist, born in New Zealand, who discovered the atomic nucleus (1909). Nobel prize for chemistry 1908
Dame Margaret. 1892–1972, British stage and screen actress. Her films include Passport to Pimlico (1949), Murder She Said (1962), and The VIPs (1963)
Mark, original name William Hale White. 1831–1913, British novelist and writer, whose work deals with his religious uncertainties: best known for The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford (1881) and the novel The Revolution in Tanner's Lane (1887)
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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Rutherford in Medicine

rutherford ruth·er·ford (rŭð'ər-fərd)
A unit expressing the rate of decay of radioactive material, equal to one million disintegrations per second.

Rutherford Ruth·er·ford (rŭð'ər-fərd, rŭth'-), Ernest. First Baron Rutherford of Nelson. 1871-1937.

New Zealand-born British physicist who classified radiation into alpha, beta, and gamma types and discovered the atomic nucleus. He won the 1908 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Rutherford in Science
New Zealand-born British physicist who was a pioneer of subatomic physics. He discovered the atomic nucleus and named the proton. Rutherford demonstrated that radioactive elements give off three types of rays, which he named alpha, beta, and gamma, and invented the term half-life to measure the rate of radioactive decay. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1908.

Our Living Language  : Current theories of nuclear fission and fusion reactions are well accepted; these reactions now drive nuclear power plants and atomic bombs. But when the notion that some atoms could spontaneously disintegrate into other atoms was first advanced in 1902 by Ernest Rutherford, it found resistance among his colleagues, who believed that the chemical elements of which known matter was composed were indestructible and immutable. Undaunted, this New Zealand-born physicist then made a large number of discoveries in rapid succession, including the discovery of three kinds of radioactivity (alpha, beta, and gamma rays), and his brilliance and prodigious output soon won over his critics. By the time he garnered the Nobel Prize for chemistry six years later, he had written 80 more scientific papers. His explanation in 1903 of the radioactive decay of uranium—that pieces of uranium atoms were literally breaking off and being emitted, thereby transforming the uranium into a new element—was compelling and soon well accepted. Astonishingly, what are arguably his greatest discoveries came three years after he won the Prize. In 1911, he showed that atoms were composed of smaller constituents: electrons orbiting around a positively charged nucleus. While the rudiments of this idea had already been proposed by others, Rutherford's experimental research conclusively demonstrated its correctness. Rutherford later identified the proton, one of the particles found in the nucleus. The Rutherford atom, as it came to be known, is the model of atomic structure from which today's well-established quantum mechanical theories of atomic structure derive. Rutherford also succeeded in inducing the first artificial fusion, fusing deuterium atoms together into radioactive tritium and a light isotope of helium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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