[ stron-shee-uh m, -shuh m, -tee-uh m ]
/ ˈstrɒn ʃi əm, -ʃəm, -ti əm /

noun Chemistry.

a bivalent, metallic element whose compounds resemble those of calcium, found in nature only in the combined state, as in strontianite: used in fireworks, flares, and tracer bullets. Symbol: Sr; atomic weight: 87.62; atomic number: 38; specific gravity: 2.6.

Nearby words

  1. strongyloidiasis,
  2. strongylosis,
  3. strontia,
  4. strontian,
  5. strontianite,
  6. strontium 90,
  7. strontium hydroxide,
  8. strontium monoxide,
  9. strontium unit,
  10. strook

Origin of strontium

First recorded in 1800–10; stront(ia) + -ium

Related formsstron·tic [stron-tik] /ˈstrɒn tɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strontium

British Dictionary definitions for strontium


/ (ˈstrɒntɪəm) /


a soft silvery-white element of the alkaline earth group of metals, occurring chiefly in celestite and strontianite. Its compounds burn with a crimson flame and are used in fireworks. The radioisotope strontium-90, with a half-life of 28.1 years, is used in nuclear power sources and is a hazardous nuclear fall-out product. Symbol: Sr; atomic no: 38; atomic wt: 87.62; valency: 2; relative density: 2.54; melting pt: 769°C; boiling pt: 1384°C

Word Origin for strontium

C19: from New Latin, from strontian

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 strontium


light metallic element, 1808, coined in Modern Latin by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) from Strontian, name of a parish in Argyllshire, Scotland, the site of lead mines where strontium was first found.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for strontium


[ strŏnchē-əm, -tē-əm, -shəm ]

n. Symbol Sr

A soft, easily oxidized metallic element that ignites spontaneously in air when finely divided, used in pharmaceuticals and in radioisotope form for bone imaging. Atomic number 38.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for strontium


[ strŏnchē-əm, -tē-əm ]


A soft, silvery metallic element of the alkaline-earth group that occurs naturally only as a sulfate or carbonate. One of its isotopes is used in the radiometric dating of rocks. Because strontium salts burn with a red flame, they are used to make fireworks and signal flares. Atomic number 38; atomic weight 87.62; melting point 777°C; boiling point 1,382°C; specific gravity 2.54; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.