any element that is required in minute quantities for physiological functioning.
- Also called trace mineral.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use trace element in a sentence
In addition to light and water, microbes will need nitrogen, phosphorus, and a variety of trace elements which would be shipped from Earth, the study says.
The deepest, most remote parts of the ocean are so far removed from land that they receive very little terrestrial dust, and living organisms need a range of trace elements like iron in order to survive.
They guaranteed it would have all the necessary ingredients, right down to the smallest trace element!Islands of Space | John W Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for trace element
any of various chemical elements, such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and iodine, that occur in very small amounts in organisms and are essential for many physiological and biochemical processes
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 trace element
An element present in an organism in only very small amounts but essential for normal metabolism. Iodine and cobalt are trace elements required by humans.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.