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[woo l-fruh m, vawl-] /ˈwʊl frəm, ˈvɔl-/
Chemistry. tungsten.
Mineralogy. wolframite.
Origin of wolfram
1750-60; < German Wolfram orig., wolframite, probably equivalent to Wolf wolf + -ram, representing Middle High German rām soot, dirt; formed on the model of personal names with initial Wolf-, as a contemptuous epithet for the mineral, which was considered worthless in comparison with tin ores, with which it is often found Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for wolfram


another name for tungsten
Word Origin
C18: from German, originally perhaps from the proper name, Wolfram, used pejoratively of tungsten because it was thought inferior to tin
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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Word Origin and History for wolfram

1757, from German Wolfram, wolform "iron tungstate" (1562), of obscure etymology. It looks like "wolf-cream" (from rahm "cream"), but the second element might be Middle High German ram (German Rahm) "dirty mark, soot;" if so, perhaps "so called in sign of contempt because it was regarded of lesser value than tin and caused a considerable loss of tin during the smelting process in the furnace" [Klein]. Or perhaps the word is originally a personal name, "wolf-raven."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wolfram in Medicine

wolfram wolf·ram (wul'frəm)
See tungsten.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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wolfram in Science
See tungsten.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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