barium

[bair-ee-uhm, bar-]
noun Chemistry.
a whitish, malleable, active, divalent, metallic element, occurring in combination chiefly as barite or as witherite. Symbol: Ba; atomic weight: 137.34; atomic number: 56; specific gravity: 3.5 at 20°C.

Origin:
1800–10; bar(ytes) + -ium

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World English Dictionary
barium (ˈbɛərɪəm)
 
n
a soft silvery-white metallic element of the alkaline earth group. It is used in bearing alloys and compounds are used as pigments. Symbol: Ba; atomic no: 56; atomic wt: 137.327; valency: 2; relative density: 3.5; melting pt: 729°C; boiling pt: 1805°C
 
[C19: from bar(yta) + -ium]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

barium
1808, Mod.L., from Gk. barys "heavy;" so called by its discoverer, Eng. chemist Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) because it was present in the mineral barytes "heavy spar," from Gk. barys "heavy" (see grave (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

barium bar·i·um (bâr'ē-əm, bār'-)
n.
Symbol Ba
A soft alkaline-earth metal used to deoxidize copper. Atomic number 56; atomic weight 137.33; melting point 727°C; boiling point 1,897°C; specific gravity 3.50; valence 2.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
barium   (bâr'ē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Ba
A soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkaline-earth group. It occurs only in combination with other elements, especially in barite. Barium compounds are used in x-raying the digestive system and in making fireworks and white pigments. Atomic number 56; atomic weight 137.33; melting point 725°C; boiling point 1,140°C; specific gravity 3.50; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The organism has no particular interest in strontium: it mostly collects barium.
Nine of the clown fish and eight of the butterfly fish that were collected
  carried the barium isotope.
One of these is barium oxide, something with a half-life and, aluminum oxide as
  well.
Later that same year, after bombarding uranium with neutrons, they found barium.
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