Definition of "zirconium" []

  • A lustrous, grayish-white, strong, ductile metallic element obtained primarily from zircon and used chiefly in ceramic and refractory compounds, as an alloying agent, and in nuclear reactors as a highly corrosion-resistant alloy. Atomic number 40; atomic weight 91.22; melting point 1,852°C; boiling point 4,377°C; specific gravity 6.56 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4. See Table at element. (noun)
  • A greyish-white metallic element, occurring chiefly in zircon, that is exceptionally corrosion-resistant and has low neutron absorption. It is used as a coating in nuclear and chemical plants, as a deoxidizer in steel, and alloyed with niobium in superconductive magnets. Symbol: Zr; atomic no: 40; atomic wt: 91.224; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 6.506; melting pt: 1855±2°C; boiling pt: 4409°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. (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "zirconium" in a sentence
  • "It isn't quite what I want though, because the disintegrating rays which the ring discharge gives out break down the zirconium, which isn't an end-product of radioactivity."
  • "The zirconium is a dual-use metal used for the production of nuclear reactor pipes."
  • "Thus, top-ranking Bulgarian officials are said to have committed document fraud and other crimes with regard to "the transfer and the very likely sale" of 10 tons of zirconium, which is a dual-use metal."