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metallic element, 1816, from molybdena, used generally for lead-like minerals, from Greek molybdos "lead," also "black graphite," related to Latin plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)), and like it probably borrowed from a lost Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian. The element so called because of its resemblance to lead ore.
molybdenum mo·lyb·de·num (mə-lĭb'də-nəm)
A hard metallic element that is an essential trace element in plant and animal nutrition. Atomic number 42; atomic weight 95.94; melting point 2,623°C; boiling point 4,639°C; specific gravity 10.22 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
A hard, silvery-white metallic element that resists corrosion and retains its strength at high temperatures. It is used to harden and toughen steel and to make high-temperature wiring. Molybdenum is an essential trace element in plant metabolism. Atomic number 42; atomic weight 95.94; melting point 2,617°C; boiling point 4,612°C; specific gravity 10.22 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See Periodic Table.