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[buh-ril-ee-uh m] /bəˈrɪl i əm/
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 of beryllium
1860-65; < Latin bēryll(us) beryl + -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for beryllium


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 Former names glucinum, glucinium
Word Origin
C19: from Latin bēryllus, from Greek bērullos
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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Word Origin and History for beryllium

metallic element, 1863, so called because it figures in the composition of the pale green precious stone beryl and was identified in emerald (green beryl) in 1797 by French chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829) and first isolated in 1828. At first and through 19c. also sometimes called glucinum or glucinium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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beryllium in Medicine

beryllium be·ryl·li·um (bə-rĭl'ē-əm)
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.

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