rare earth element, named by French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838-1912) in 1886, from holmia "holmium oxide," a Modern Latin word coined by the earth's discoverer, Swedish chemist Per Teodor Cleve (1840-1905), in 1879 from Holmia, Latin name of Stockholm.
A soft, silvery, malleable metallic element of the lanthanide series. Its compounds are highly magnetic. It is mainly used in scientific research but has also been used to make electronic devices. Atomic number 67; atomic weight 164.930; melting point 1,461°C; boiling point 2,600°C; specific gravity 8.803; valence 3. See Periodic Table.