[ih-tur-bee-uh m]

noun Chemistry.

a rare metallic element found in gadolinite and forming compounds resembling those of yttrium. Symbol: Yb; atomic weight: 173.04; atomic number: 70; specific gravity: 6.96.

Nearby words

  1. yt,
  2. ytd,
  3. yts,
  4. ytterbia,
  5. ytterbite,
  6. ytterbium oxide,
  7. yttria,
  8. yttriferous,
  9. yttrium,
  10. yttrium metal

Origin of ytterbium

From New Latin, dating back to 1875–80; see origin at ytterbia, -ium

Related formsyt·ter·bic, yt·ter·bous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ytterbium

British Dictionary definitions for ytterbium



a soft malleable silvery element of the lanthanide series of metals that occurs in monazite and is used to improve the mechanical properties of steel. Symbol: Yb; atomic no: 70; atomic wt: 173.04; valency: 2 or 3; relative density: 6.903 (alpha), 6.966 (beta); melting pt: 819°C; boiling pt: 1196°C

Word Origin for ytterbium

C19: New Latin; see ytterbia

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 ytterbium


metallic rare-earth element, 1879, coined in Modern Latin by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander (1797-1858) from Ytterby, name of a town in Sweden where mineral containing it was found.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ytterbium



n. Symbol Yb

A soft bright allotropic rare-earth element, whose radioisotope is used in diagnostic imaging of the brain. Atomic number 70.

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

Science definitions for ytterbium




A soft, silvery-white metallic element of the lanthanide series that occurs as seven stable isotopes. It is used as a radiation source for portable x-ray machines. Atomic number 70; atomic weight 173.04; melting point 824°C; boiling point 1,196°C; specific gravity 6.972 or 6.54 (25°C) depending on allotropic form; valence 2, 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.