|1.||Compare compound any of the 118 known substances (of which 93 occur naturally) that consist of atoms with the same number of protons in their nuclei|
|2.||one of the fundamental or irreducible components making up a whole|
|3.||a cause that contributes to a result; factor|
|4.||any group that is part of a larger unit, such as a military formation|
|5.||a small amount; hint: an element of sarcasm in her voice|
|6.||a distinguishable section of a social group: he belonged to the stable element in the expedition|
|7.||the most favourable environment for an animal or plant|
|8.||the situation in which a person is happiest or most effective (esp in the phrases in or out of one's element)|
|9.||the resistance wire and its former, which constitute the electrical heater in a cooker, heater, etc|
|10.||electronics another name for component|
|11.||one of the four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the universe (earth, air, water, or fire)|
|12.||(plural) atmospheric conditions or forces, esp wind, rain, and cold: exposed to the elements|
|13.||(plural) the first principles of a subject|
|14.||geometry a point, line, plane, or part of a geometric figure|
|a. any of the terms in a determinant or matrix|
|b. one of the infinitesimally small quantities summed by an integral, often represented by the expression following the integral sign: in |
|16.||maths, logic one of the objects or numbers that together constitute a set|
|17.||Christianity the bread or wine consecrated in the Eucharist|
|18.||astronomy any of the numerical quantities, such as the major axis or eccentricity, used in describing the orbit of a planet, satellite, etc|
|19.||one of the vertical or horizontal rods forming a television or VHF radio receiving aerial|
|20.||physics a component of a compound lens|
|[C13: from Latin elementum a first principle, alphabet, element, of uncertain origin]|
element el·e·ment (ěl'ə-mənt)
A substance that cannot be reduced to simpler substances by normal chemical means and that is composed of atoms having an identical number of protons in each nucleus.
A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity.
|element (ěl'ə-mənt) Pronunciation Key
Our Living Language : When Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev devised the periodic table in 1869, there were 63 known elements. Mendeleev classified the known elements by atomic weight, and arranged a table listing them with vertical rows corresponding to shared chemical characteristics. Gaps in the table suggested the possibility of elements not yet discovered, and indeed elements were later discovered, or in some cases, artificially created, that filled the gaps and had the expected chemical properties. The striking correlation between the atomic weight of an element and its chemical properties was later explained by quantum mechanical theories of the atom. The weight of an atom of any given element depends on the number of protons (and neutrons) in its nucleus, but the number of protons also determines the number and arrangement of electrons that can orbit the nucleus, and it is these outer shells of electrons that largely determine the element's chemical properties. Currently, 115 distinct elements are known.
In chemistry, any material (such as carbon, hydrogen, iron, or oxygen) that cannot be broken down into more fundamental substances. Each chemical element has a specific type of atom, and chemical compounds are created when atoms of different elements are bound together into molecules. There are 119 chemical elements whose discovery has been claimed; 92 occur in nature, and the rest have been produced in laboratories.
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