element

[ el-uh-muh nt ]
/ ˈɛl ə mənt /
|

noun


Nearby words

  1. eleia,
  2. eleidin,
  3. elektra,
  4. elektrostal,
  5. elem.,
  6. element 104,
  7. element 105,
  8. element 106,
  9. element 107,
  10. element 108

Origin of element

1250–1300; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin elementum one of the four elements, letter of the alphabet, first principle, rudiment

SYNONYMS FOR element
Element, component, constituent, ingredient refer to units that are parts of whole or complete substances, systems, compounds, or mixtures. Element denotes a fundamental, ultimate part: the basic elements of matter; resolve the problem into its elements. Component and constituent refer to a part that goes into the making of a complete system or compound. Component often refers to one of a number of parts: a new component for the stereo system. Constituent suggests a necessary part of the whole: The constituents of a molecule of water are two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Ingredient is most frequently used in nonscientific contexts: the ingredients of a cake; the ingredients of a successful marriage.

Related formsin·ter·el·e·ment, adjective, nounsub·el·e·ment, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for subelement

element

/ (ˈɛlɪmənt) /

noun

Word Origin for element

C13: from Latin elementum a first principle, alphabet, element, of uncertain origin

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 subelement

element

n.

c.1300, "earth, air, fire, or water," from Old French element (10c.), from Latin elementem "rudiment, first principle, matter in its most basic form" (translating Greek stoikheion), origin unknown. Meaning "simplest component of a complex substance" is late 14c. Modern sense in chemistry is from 1813. Elements "atmospheric force" is 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for subelement

element

[ ĕlə-mənt ]

n.

A substance that cannot be reduced to simpler substances by normal chemical means and that is composed of atoms having an identical number of protons in each nucleus.
A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity.

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

Science definitions for subelement

element

[ ĕlə-mənt ]

A substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means. An element is composed of atoms that have the same atomic number, that is, each atom has the same number of protons in its nucleus as all other atoms of that element. Today 117 elements are known, of which 92 are known to occur in nature, while the remainder have only been made with particle accelerators. Eighty-one of the elements have isotopes that are stable. The others, including technetium, promethium, and those with atomic numbers higher than 83, are radioactive. See Periodic Table.
Mathematics A member of a set.

Word History

When Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev devised the Periodic Table in 1869, there were 63 known elements, which he classified by atomic weight, and arranged a table listing them with vertical rows corresponding to shared chemical characteristics. Gaps in the table suggested the possibility of elements not yet discovered, and indeed elements were later discovered, or in some cases, artificially created, that filled the gaps and had the expected chemical properties. The striking correlation between the atomic weight of an element and its chemical properties was later explained by quantum mechanical theories of the atom. The weight of an atom of any given element depends on the number of protons (and neutrons) in its nucleus, but the number of protons also determines the number and arrangement of electrons that can orbit the nucleus, and it is these outer shells of electrons that largely determine the element's chemical properties.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for subelement

element

In chemistry, any material (such as carbon, hydrogen, iron, or oxygen) that cannot be broken down into more fundamental substances. Each chemical element has a specific type of atom, and chemical compounds are created when atoms of different elements are bound together into molecules. There are 119 chemical elements whose discovery has been claimed; 92 occur in nature, and the rest have been produced in laboratories.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with subelement

element

see brave the elements; in one's element.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.