|a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp. ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.|
|the offspring of a zebra and a donkey.|
|a brittle silvery-white nonmetallic element occurring both uncombined and in combination with metals: used in alloys of lead and copper and as a semiconductor. Symbol: Te; atomic no: 52; atomic wt: 127.60; valency: 2, 4, or 6; relative density: 6.24; melting pt: 449.57±0.3°C; boiling pt: 988°C|
|[C19: New Latin, from Latin tellūs the earth, formed by analogy with |
tellurium tel·lu·ri·um (tě-l&oobreve;r'ē-əm)
A brittle metallic element usually found in combination with gold and other metals, used to alloy stainless steel and lead, and, as bismuth telluride, in thermoelectric devices. Atomic number 52; atomic weight 127.60; melting point 449.5°C; boiling point 988°C; specific gravity 6.24; valence 2, 4, 6.
|tellurium (tě-lr'ē-əm) Pronunciation Key
A metalloid element that occurs as either a brittle, shiny, silvery-white crystal or a gray or brown powder. Small amounts of tellurium are used to improve the alloys of various metals. Atomic number 52; atomic weight 127.60; melting point 449.5°C; boiling point 989.8°C; specific gravity 6.24; valence 2, 4, 6. See Periodic Table.
(Te), semimetallic chemical element in the oxygen family (Group VIa of the periodic table), closely allied with the element selenium in chemical and physical properties. It was discovered in 1782 by Franz Joseph Muller von Reichenstein, a mining inspector in Transylvania. Tellurium is not an abundant element, although it is widely distributed around the world. It is rarely found in the uncombined state and usually occurs as tellurides of copper, lead, silver, gold, iron, or bismuth. The chief sources from which the element is extracted are the slimes from copper and lead refineries in addition to flue dusts from the processing of telluride gold ores.
Learn more about tellurium with a free trial on Britannica.com.