Dictionary.com

radiometric dating

Save This Word!

noun
any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also called radioactive dating.

Origin of radiometric dating

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use radiometric dating in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for radiometric dating

radiometric dating

noun
any method of dating material based on the decay of its constituent radioactive atoms, such as potassium-argon dating or rubidium-strontium datingAlso called: radioactive dating
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

Scientific definitions for radiometric dating

radiometric dating
[ rā′dē-ō-mĕtrĭk ]

A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it. For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium). The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope. For organic materials, the comparison is between the current ratio of a radioactive isotope to a stable isotope of the same element and the known ratio of the two isotopes in living organisms. Radiocarbon dating is one such type of radiometric dating.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK