[skan-dee-uh m]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a rare, trivalent, metallic element obtained from thortveitite. Symbol: Sc; atomic weight: 44.956; atomic number: 21; specific gravity: 3.0.

Origin of scandium

From New Latin, dating back to 1875–80; see origin at Scandia, -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scandium

Historical Examples of scandium

  • Other elements are named from countries or localities, as germanium and scandium.

  • In 1875 Lecoq de Boisbandram discovered gallium, which filled one of the gaps; scandium and germanium filled the other two later.

  • And there are also scandium oxide molecules making unfamiliar faces at us.

    The Sky Trap

    Frank Belknap Long

  • Its group members, scandium and yttrium, have the same form; we have not examined the fourth; the group is positive.

    Occult Chemistry

    Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater

  • The A funnel of vanadium repeats the A funnel of scandium, with the addition of d 20, already studied.

    Occult Chemistry

    Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater

British Dictionary definitions for scandium


  1. a rare light silvery-white metallic element occurring in minute quantities in numerous minerals. Symbol: Sc; atomic no: 21; atomic wt: 44.955910; valency: 3; relative density: 2.989; melting pt: 1541°C; boiling pt: 2836°C

Word Origin for scandium

C19: from New Latin, from Latin Scandia Scandinavia, where it was discovered
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 scandium

1879, from Modern Latin Scandia (see Scandinavia) + chemical ending -ium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scandium in Medicine


n. Symbol Sc
  1. A highly reactive metallic element found in various rare minerals and separated as a byproduct in the processing of certain uranium ores. Atomic number 21.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

scandium in Science


  1. A soft, silvery, very lightweight metallic element that is found in various rare minerals and is a byproduct in the processing of certain uranium ores. It has a high melting point and is used to make high-intensity lights. Atomic number 21; atomic weight 44.956; melting point 1,540°C; boiling point 2,850°C; specific gravity 2.99; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.