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[zee-non, zen-on] /ˈzi nɒn, ˈzɛn ɒn/
noun, Chemistry.
a heavy, colorless, chemically inactive, monatomic gaseous element used for filling radio, television, and luminescent tubes. Symbol: Xe; atomic weight: 131.30; atomic number: 54.
Origin of xenon
1898; < Greek xénon, neuter of xénos strange (see -on2); name introduced by William Ramsay, the element's discoverer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for xenon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The evidence for the existence of krypton and xenon is, however, inconclusive.

    Astronomical Curiosities J. Ellard Gore
  • That report was enough to make a man quit his job and go to xenon to start a chicken ranch or grow oranges.

    The Moralist Jack Taylor
  • The animals on xenon are immune from them, but when they land on a man, they send out tiny rootlets that are like minute hairs.

    The Moralist Jack Taylor
  • Aristarchus combated “the paradox of xenon,” and it does not seem to have had much acceptance in antiquity.

  • The remaining elements of this group—neon, krypton, and xenon—have been obtained from liquid air.

British Dictionary definitions for xenon


a colourless odourless gaseous element occurring in trace amounts in air; formerly considered inert it is now known to form compounds and is used in radio valves, stroboscopic and bactericidal lamps, and bubble chambers. Symbol: Xe; atomic no: 54; atomic wt: 131.29; valency: 0; density: 5.887 kg/m³; melting pt: –111.76°C; boiling pt: –108.0°C
Word Origin
C19: from Greek: something strange
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 xenon

gaseous element, 1898, from Greek xenon, neuter of xenos "foreign, strange" (see guest); coined by its co-discoverer, Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916); cf. krypton.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xenon in Medicine

xenon xe·non (zē'nŏn')
Symbol Xe
A colorless, odorless, highly unreactive gaseous element found in minute quantities in the atmosphere and extracted commercially from liquefied air. Atomic number 54; atomic weight 131.29; melting point -111.8°C; boiling point -108.0°C; density (gas) 5.887 grams per liter; specific gravity (liquid) 3.52 (-109°C).

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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xenon in Science
Symbol Xe
A colorless, odorless element in the noble gas group occurring in extremely small amounts in the atmosphere. It was the first noble gas found to form compounds with other elements. Xenon is used in lamps that make intense flashes, such as strobe lights and flashbulbs for photography. Atomic number 54; atomic weight 131.29; melting point -111.9°C; boiling point -107.1°C; density (gas) 5.887 grams per liter; specific gravity (liquid) 3.52 (-109°C). See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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