• synonyms


noun Chemistry.
  1. a colorless, odorless, chemically inactive, monatomic, gaseous element that, because of its inertness, is used for filling fluorescent and incandescent lamps and vacuum tubes. Symbol: Ar; atomic number: 18; atomic weight: 39.948.
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Origin of argon

1890–95; < Greek, neuter of argós inactive, not working, idle, contraction of aergós equivalent to a- a-6 + érg(on) work + -os adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for argon

Historical Examples

  • What property of magnesium was taken advantage of in the isolation of argon?

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

    William McPherson

  • The investigation of argon led to the discovery of some of the others.


    Charles Fitzhugh Talman

  • I could scarce believe my eyes when she appeared as the "wife of Argon."

    Pencillings by the Way

    N. Parker Willis

  • Of these, argon and its allies were the last to be definitely isolated.

  • Tonight you looked very suspicious when you left Argon City.

    B-12's Moon Glow

    Charles A. Stearns

British Dictionary definitions for argon


  1. an extremely unreactive colourless odourless element of the rare gas series that forms almost 1 per cent (by volume) of the atmosphere. It is used in electric lights. Symbol: Ar; atomic no: 18; atomic wt: 39.948; density: 1.7837 kg/m³; freezing pt: –189.3°C; boiling pt: –185.9°C
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek, from argos idle, inactive, from a- 1 + ergon work
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 argon


chemical element, 1894, Modern Latin, from Greek argon, neuter of argos "lazy, idle, not working the ground, living without labor," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + ergon "work" (see urge (v.)). So called by its discoverers, Baron Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay, for its inert qualities.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

argon in Medicine


n. Symbol Ar
  1. A colorless, inert gaseous element constituting approximately one percent of the earth's atmosphere, used in electric bulbs and fluorescent tubes and in lasers used for opthalmic procedures. Atomic number 18.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

argon in Science


  1. A colorless, odorless element in the noble gas group. Argon makes up about one percent of the atmosphere. It is used in electric light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and radio vacuum tubes. Atomic number 18; atomic weight 39.948; melting point -189.2°C; boiling point -185.7°C. See Periodic Table.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.