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atomic number

[ uh-tom ik nuhm ber ]
/ əˈtɒm ɪk ˈnʌm bər /
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Definition of atomic number

noun
the number of positive charges or protons in the nucleus of an atom of a given element, and therefore also the number of electrons normally surrounding the nucleus. Abbreviation: at. no.; Symbol: Z

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Also called pro·ton num·ber [proh ton nuhm ber] /ˈproʊ tɒn ˈnʌm bər/ .

Origin of atomic number

First recorded in 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use atomic number in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for atomic number

atomic number

noun
the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom of an elementAbbreviation: at. no. Symbol: Z Also called: proton number
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

Medical definitions for atomic number

atomic number

n.
The number of protons in an atomic nucleus; it indicates the position of an element in the periodic table.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for atomic number

atomic number

The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. In electrically neutral atoms, this number is also equal to the number of electrons orbiting about the atom's nucleus. The atomic number of an element determines its position in the Periodic Table, and is usually denoted by the letter Z and written as a subscript before an element's symbol, as in 92U.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for atomic number

atomic number

The number of protons or electrons normally found in an atom of a given chemical element. The higher the atomic number, the heavier the atom is. In a neutral atom, the number of protons and electrons is the same. (See atomic weight and periodic table of the elements.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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