[ih-tree-uh m]

noun Chemistry.

a rare trivalent metallic element, found in gadolinite and other minerals. Symbol: Y; atomic weight: 88.905; atomic number: 39; specific gravity: 4.47.

Origin of yttrium

1815–25; < New Latin, named after Ytterby. See ytterbia, -ium
Related formsyt·tric, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yttrium

Historical Examples of yttrium

  • A rare metal found by Prof. Mosander, associated with erbium and yttrium in ordinary yttria.

  • Yttrium was obtained by Whler in 1828, as a brittle, dark-grey metal, made from the chloride by the action of sodium.

  • Erbium, a rare metal found along with yttrium, terbium, and other rare elements in some rare minerals.

  • 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

  • One funnel of yttrium contains exactly the same number of atoms as is contained in a gaseous atom of nitrogen.

    Occult Chemistry

    Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater

British Dictionary definitions for yttrium



a silvery metallic element occurring in monazite and gadolinite and used in various alloys, in lasers, and as a catalyst. Symbol: Y; atomic no: 39; atomic wt: 88.90585; valency: 3; relative density: 4.469; melting pt: 1522°C; boiling pt: 3338°C
Derived Formsyttric, adjective

Word Origin for yttrium

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 yttrium

metallic rare-earth element, 1866, 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

yttrium in Medicine



n. Symbol Y

A silvery, ductile, rare-earth element used in various alloys. Atomic number 39.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

yttrium in Science




A silvery metallic element found in the same ores as elements of the lanthanide series. Yttrium is used to strengthen magnesium and aluminum alloys, to provide the red color in color televisions, and as a component of various optical and electronic devices. Atomic number 39; atomic weight 88.906; melting point 1,522°C; boiling point 3,338°C; specific gravity 4.45 (25°C); valence 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.