[gal-ee-uh m]

noun Chemistry.

a rare, steel-gray, trivalent metallic element used in high-temperature thermometers because of its high boiling point (1983°C) and low melting point (30°C). Symbol: Ga; atomic weight: 69.72; atomic number: 31; specific gravity: 5.91 at 20°C.

Origin of gallium

1870–75; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin gall(us) cock (translation of French coq, from Lecoq de Boisbaudran, 19th-century French chemist) + New Latin -ium -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of gallium

British Dictionary definitions for gallium



a silvery metallic element that is liquid for a wide temperature range. It occurs in trace amounts in some ores and is used in high-temperature thermometers and low-melting alloys. Gallium arsenide is a semiconductor. Symbol: Ga; atomic no: 31; atomic wt: 69.723; valency: 2 or 3; relative density: 5.904; melting pt: 29.77°C; boiling pt: 2205°C

Word Origin for gallium

C19: from New Latin, from Latin gallus cock, translation of French coq in the name of its discoverer, Lecoq de Boisbaudran, 19th-century French chemist
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 gallium

metalic element, discovered by spectral lines in 1875 by French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912), who named it apparently in honor of his homeland (see Gallic), but it has been suggested that he also punned on his own name (cf. Latin gallus "cock").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gallium in Medicine



n. Symbol Ga

A rare metallic element that is liquid near room temperature and is found as a trace element in coal, bauxite, and other minerals. Atomic number 31.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

gallium in Science




A rare, silvery metallic element that is found as a trace element in coal, in bauxite, and in several minerals. It is liquid near room temperature and expands when it solidifies. It is used in thermometers and semiconductors. Atomic number 31; atomic weight 69.72; melting point 29.78°C; boiling point 2,403°C; specific gravity 5.907; valence 2, 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.