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lanthanum

[lan-thuh-nuh m]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a rare-earth, trivalent, metallic element, allied to aluminum, found in certain minerals, as monazite. Symbol: La; atomic weight: 138.91; atomic number: 57; specific gravity: 6.15 at 20°C.
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Origin of lanthanum

< New Latin (1841), equivalent to lanthan- (< Greek lanthánein to escape notice; referring to its position on the periodic table) + -um, variant of -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lanthanum

lanthanum

noun
  1. a silvery-white ductile metallic element of the lanthanide series, occurring principally in bastnaesite and monazite: used in pyrophoric alloys, electronic devices, and in glass manufacture. Symbol: La; atomic no: 57; atomic wt: 138.9055; valency: 3; relative density: 6.145; melting pt: 918°C; boiling pt: 3464°C
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Word Origin

C19: New Latin, from Greek lanthanein to lie unseen
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 lanthanum

n.

metallic rare earth element, 1841, coined in Modern Latin by Swedish chemist and mineralogist Carl Gustav Mosander (1797-1858), who discovered it in 1839, from Greek lanthanein "to lie hidden, escape notice," from PIE root *ladh- "to be hidden" (see latent). So called because the element was "concealed" in rare minerals.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lanthanum in Medicine

lanthanum

(lănthə-nəm)
n. Symbol La
  1. A soft malleable metallic rare-earth element used in glass manufacture. Atomic number 57.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

lanthanum in Science

lanthanum

[lănthə-nəm]
La
  1. A soft, malleable, silvery-white metallic element of the lanthanide series. It is used to make glass for lenses and lights for movie and television studios. Atomic number 57; atomic weight 138.91; melting point 920°C; boiling point 3,469°C; specific gravity 5.98 to 6.186; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.