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[jer-mey-nee-uh m] /dʒərˈmeɪ ni əm/
noun, Chemistry
a scarce, metallic, grayish-white element, normally tetravalent, used chiefly in transistors. Symbol: Ge; atomic weight: 72.59; atomic number: 32; specific gravity: 5.36 at 20°C.
Origin of germanium
1885-90; German(y) + -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for germanium
  • But sensors made with germanium, another common semiconductor, can.
  • For example, pure germanium is an electrically inert substance.
  • It perfected methods of purifying germanium and silicon, and growing large crystals of these elements.
  • Because germanium is a heavier atom than silicon, its crystal-lattice structure is more widely spaced.
  • He also predicted with equal precision the existence of scandium and germanium, and these too were soon discovered.
  • They had previously modeled two similar semiconductor materials, silicon and germanium, and expected about the same results.
  • germanium is not thought to be essential to the health of plants or animals.
British Dictionary definitions for germanium


a brittle crystalline grey element that is a semiconducting metalloid, occurring principally in zinc ores and argyrodite: used in transistors, as a catalyst, and to strengthen and harden alloys. Symbol: Ge; atomic no: 32; atomic wt: 72.61; valency: 2 or 4; relative density: 5.323; melting pt: 938.35°C; boiling pt: 2834°C
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, named after Germany
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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germanium in Medicine

germanium ger·ma·ni·um (jər-mā'nē-əm)
Symbol Ge
A brittle crystalline gray-white metalloid element, used as a semiconductor and in certain optical glasses. Atomic number 32; atomic weight 72.61; melting point 938.25°C; boiling point 2,830°C; specific gravity 5.323 (at 25°C); valence 2, 4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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germanium in Science
Symbol Ge
A brittle, crystalline, grayish-white metalloid element that is found in coal, in zinc ores, and in several minerals. It is used as a semiconductor and in wide-angle lenses. Atomic number 32; atomic weight 72.59; melting point 937.4°C; boiling point 2,830°C; specific gravity 5.323 (at 25°C); valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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