[kyoo r-ee-uh m]
  1. a radioactive element not found in nature but discovered in 1944 among the products of plutonium after bombardment by high-energy helium ions. Symbol: Cm; atomic number: 96.

Origin of curium

1946; < New Latin; named after M. and P. Curie; see -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for curium

Historical Examples of curium

  • In fig. 180 the statue of this goddess is shown, which he says was found by himself in 1884 at Curium.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson

  • The most splendid of all the Cyprian vases was found at Curium, and has been already represented in this volume.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • Some candlesticks found in the Treasury of Curium,878 and a tripod from the same place, seem to deserve a short notice.

    History of Phoenicia

    George Rawlinson

  • The natives of Curium made it a rule to destroy all such, under an appearance of a religious rite.

  • "Conduct them here, Matten," he commanded, and took up his station beside an hundred-branched candlestick made in Curium.

British Dictionary definitions for curium


  1. a silvery-white metallic transuranic element artificially produced from plutonium. Symbol: Cm; atomic no: 96; half-life of most stable isotope, 247 Cm: 1.6 x 10 7 years; valency: 3 and 4; relative density: 13.51 (calculated); melting pt: 1345±400°C

Word Origin for curium

C20: New Latin, named after Pierre and Marie Curie
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 curium

1946, named by U.S. chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, who helped discover it in 1944, for the Curies (see Curie).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

curium in Medicine


n. Symbol Cm
  1. A metallic synthetic radioactive transuranic element whose longest-lived isotope is Cm 247, with a half-life of 16.4 million years. Atomic number 96.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

curium in Science


  1. A synthetic, silvery-white, radioactive metallic element of the actinide series that is produced artificially from plutonium or americium. Curium isotopes are used to provide electricity for satellites and space probes. Its most stable isotope has a half-life of 16.4 million years. Atomic number 96; melting point (estimated) 1,350°C; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.