beryllium

[buh-ril-ee-uhm]
noun Chemistry.
a steel-gray, bivalent, hard, light, metallic element, the salts of which are sweet: used chiefly in copper alloys for better fatigue endurance, in springs, and in electrical contacts. Symbol: Be; atomic weight: 9.0122; atomic number: 4; specific gravity: 1.8 at 20° C.

Origin:
1860–65; < Latin bēryll(us) beryl + -ium

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World English Dictionary
beryllium (bɛˈrɪlɪəm)
 
n
glucinum, Former names: glucinium a corrosion-resistant toxic silvery-white metallic element that occurs chiefly in beryl and is used mainly in X-ray windows and in the manufacture of alloys. Symbol: Be; atomic no: 4; atomic wt: 9.012; valency: 2; relative density: 1.848; melting pt: 1289°C; boiling pt: 2472°C
 
[C19: from Latin bēryllus, from Greek bērullos]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

beryllium
metallic element, 1863, so called because it figures in the composition of beryl and was obtained by isolation from emerald (green beryl) in 1797 by Fr. chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

beryllium be·ryl·li·um (bə-rĭl'ē-əm)
n.
Symbol Be
A lightweight, corrosion-resistant metallic element used as an aerospace structural material, as a moderator and reflector in nuclear reactors, and in a copper alloy for springs and electrical contacts. Atomic number 4; atomic weight 9.0122; melting point 1,278°C; boiling point 2,471°C; specific gravity 1.848; valence 2.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
beryllium   (bə-rĭl'ē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Be
A hard, lightweight, steel-gray metallic element of the alkaline-earth group, found in various minerals, especially beryl. It has a high melting point and is corrosion-resistant. Beryllium is used to make sturdy, lightweight alloys and aerospace structural materials. It is also used as a neutron moderator in nuclear reactors. Atomic number 4; atomic weight 9.0122; melting point 1,278°C; boiling point 2,970°C; specific gravity 1.848; 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
Beryllium causes acute or chronic beryllium disease, a deadly ailment affecting
  the lungs.
His strength was in theoretical physics, but he was being forced to sit in a
  laboratory making thin films of beryllium.
The proton beam enters a magnetic focusing horn where it strikes a beryllium
  target.
Beryllium produces health effects ranging from sensitization without evidence
  of disease to clinically apparent pulmonary disease.
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