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-ium

1.
a suffix found on nouns borrowed from Latin, especially derivatives of verbs (odium; tedium; colloquium; delirium), deverbal compounds with the initial element denoting the object of the verb (nasturtium), other types of compounds (equilibrium; millennium), and derivatives of personal nouns, often denoting the associated status or office (collegium; consortium; magisterium); -ium, also occurs in scientific coinages on a Latin model, as in names of metallic elements (barium; titanium) and as a Latinization of Gk -ion (pericardium).
Origin
< Neo-Latin, Latin, neuter suffix
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for -ium

-ium

suffix
1.
indicating a metallic element: platinum, barium
2.
(in chemistry) indicating groups forming positive ions: ammonium chloride, hydroxonium ion
3.
indicating a biological structure: syncytium
Word Origin
New Latin, from Latin, from Greek -ion, diminutive suffix
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
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-ium in Medicine

-ium suff.
Chemical element or group: californium.

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