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Definition of "uranium" []

  • A heavy silvery-white metallic element, radioactive and toxic, easily oxidized, and having 14 known isotopes of which U 238 is the most abundant in nature. The element occurs in several minerals, including uraninite and carnotite, from which it is extracted and processed for use in research, nuclear fuels, and nuclear weapons. Atomic number 92; atomic weight 238.03; melting point 1,132°C; boiling point 3,818°C; specific gravity 18.95; valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See Table at element. (noun)
  • A radioactive silvery-white metallic element of the actinide series. It occurs in several minerals including pitchblende, carnotite, and autunite and is used chiefly as a source of nuclear energy by fission of the radioisotope uranium-235. Symbol: U; atomic no: 92; atomic wt: 238.0289; half-life of most stable isotope, 238U: 451 × 109 years; valency: 2-6; relative density: 18.95 (approx.); melting pt: 1135°C; boiling pt: 4134°C (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Use "uranium" in a sentence
  • "(One uranium nucleus consists of 92 protons and 146 neutrons and each neutron in uranium is bound on average by 8 MeV.)"
  • "The analysis of these particles indicates that the uranium is anthropogenic, i.e. that the material was produced as a result of chemical processing."
  • "It does not, because 1/3 of the uranium is already in the bones, and not circulating in the blood for the kidneys to filter it. “Twenty to thirty percent of a toxic does of intravenous uranium could be found in the bones of male rats within 2.5 hours after administration, and 90% of the uranium retained by the body after 40 days was in bone [Neuman 1948a]."