noun Chemistry.
a rare-earth metallic element, having pink salts. Symbol: Er; atomic weight: 167.26; atomic number: 68.

1835–45; < Neo-Latin, named after Ytterby, Sweden, where first found; see -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
erbium (ˈɜːbɪəm)
a soft malleable silvery-white element of the lanthanide series of metals: used in special alloys, room-temperature lasers, and as a pigment. Symbol: Er; atomic no: 68; atomic wt: 167.26; valency: 3; relative density: 9.006; melting pt: 1529°C; boiling pt: 2868°C
[C19: from New Latin, from (Ytt)erb(y), Sweden, where it was first found + -ium]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

erbium er·bi·um (ûr'bē-əm)
Symbol Er
A soft rare-earth element, used in metallurgy and nuclear research. Atomic number 68; atomic weight 167.26; melting point 1,529°C; boiling point 2,860°C; specific gravity 9.066; valence 3.

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Science Dictionary
erbium   (ûr'bē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Er
A soft, silvery, metallic element of the lanthanide series. It is used as a neutron absorber in nuclear technology and in light amplification for fiber-optic telecommunications. Atomic number 68; atomic weight 167.26; melting point 1,497°C; boiling point 2,900°C; specific gravity 9.051; valence 3. See Periodic Table.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(Er), chemical element, rare-earth metal of the lanthanoid series of the periodic table. Erbium is a grayish silver element that also occurs as a series of pink compounds. It had limited commercial uses until the age of fibre-optic telecommunications, when it became an important constituent of the signal repeaters in long-distance telephone cables.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate erbium laser devices for dermatological cosmetic procedures.
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