[ kal-uh-fawr-nee-uh m ]
/ ˌkæl əˈfɔr ni əm /

noun Chemistry.

a transuranic element. Symbol: Cf; atomic number: 98.

Nearby words

  1. california, gulf of,
  2. california, lower,
  3. californian,
  4. californian spangled cat,
  5. californite,
  6. caliginous,
  7. caligraphy,
  8. caligula,
  9. calimanco,
  10. calimere

Origin of californium

1945–50; named after the University of California where it was discovered; see -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for californium


/ (ˌkælɪˈfɔːnɪəm) /


a metallic transuranic element artificially produced from curium. Symbol: Cf; atomic no: 98; half-life of most stable isotope, 251 Cf: 800 years (approx.)

Word Origin for californium

C20: New Latin; discovered at the University of California

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

Medicine definitions for californium


[ kăl′ə-fôrnē-əm ]

n. Symbol Cf

A synthetic radioactive element produced in trace quantities by neutron bombardment of curium. Its most stable isotope, Cf 251, has a half-life of 790 years. Atomic number 98.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for californium


[ kăl′ə-fôrnē-əm ]


A synthetic, radioactive metallic element of the actinide series that is produced from curium or berkelium and is used in chemical analyses. Its most stable isotope, Cf 251, has a half-life of 800 years. Atomic number 98. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.