barium

[bair-ee-uh m, bar-]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a whitish, malleable, active, divalent, metallic element, occurring in combination chiefly as barite or as witherite. Symbol: Ba; atomic weight: 137.34; atomic number: 56; specific gravity: 3.5 at 20°C.

Origin of barium

First recorded in 1800–10; bar(ytes) + -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of barium


British Dictionary definitions for barium

barium

noun
  1. a soft silvery-white metallic element of the alkaline earth group. It is used in bearing alloys and compounds are used as pigments. Symbol: Ba; atomic no: 56; atomic wt: 137.327; valency: 2; relative density: 3.5; melting pt: 729°C; boiling pt: 1805°C

Word Origin for barium

C19: from bar (yta) + -ium
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 barium
n.

1808, coined in Modern Latin by its discoverer, English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829), because it was present in the mineral barytes "heavy spar" (barium sulphate), so named by Lavoisier from Greek barys "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). The metal is actually relatively light.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

barium in Medicine

barium

[bârē-əm, băr-]
n. Symbol Ba
  1. A soft alkaline-earth metal that is a component in compounds used in radiography and as radiopaque media. Atomic number 56.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

barium in Science

barium

[bârē-əm]
Ba
  1. A soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkaline-earth group. It occurs only in combination with other elements, especially in barite. Barium compounds are used in x-raying the digestive system and in making fireworks and white pigments. Atomic number 56; atomic weight 137.33; melting point 725°C; boiling point 1,140°C; specific gravity 3.50; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.