sodium

[soh-dee-uhm]
noun
1.
Chemistry. a soft, silver-white, metallic element that oxidizes rapidly in moist air, occurring in nature only in the combined state, and used in the synthesis of sodium peroxide, sodium cyanide, and tetraethyllead: a necessary element in the body for the maintenance of normal fluid balance and other physiological functions. Symbol: Na; atomic weight: 22.9898; atomic number: 11; specific gravity: 0.97 at 20°C.
2.
Medicine/Medical, Pharmacology. any salt of sodium, as sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate, present in or added to foods or beverages as a seasoning or preservative and used in many pharmaceutical products as an antacid, anticoagulant, or other agent.

Origin:
1800–10; < Neo-Latin; see soda, -ium

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World English Dictionary
sodium (ˈsəʊdɪəm)
 
n
a.  a very reactive soft silvery-white element of the alkali metal group occurring principally in common salt, Chile saltpetre, and cryolite. Sodium and potassium ions maintain the essential electrolytic balance in living cells. It is used in the production of chemicals, in metallurgy, and, alloyed with potassium, as a cooling medium in nuclear reactors. Symbol: Na; atomic no: 11; atomic wt: 22.989768; valency: 1; relative density: 0.971; melting pt: 97.81±0.03°C; boiling pt: 892.9°C
 b.  (as modifier): sodium light
 
[C19: New Latin, from soda + -ium]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sodium
metallic alkaline element, 1807, coined by Eng. chemist Humphry Davy from soda; so called because the element was isolated from caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). The chemical symbol Na is from Natrium.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sodium so·di·um (sō'dē-əm)
n.
Symbol Na
A soft, light, highly reactive metallic element that is naturally abundant, especially in common salt. Atomic number 11; atomic weight 22.99; melting point 97.7°C; boiling point 883°C; specific gravity 0.971; valence 1.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sodium   (sō'dē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Na
A soft, lightweight, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali group that reacts explosively with water. It is the most abundant alkali metal on Earth, occurring especially in common salt. Sodium is very malleable, and its compounds have many important uses in industry. Atomic number 11; atomic weight 22.99; melting point 97.8°C; boiling point 892°C; specific gravity 0.971; valence 1. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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Example sentences
Canned or packaged broth is handy for adding flavor, but it can have loads of
  sodium.
Imagine potato chips with all the flavor but far less sodium.
The positrons were captured from a radioactive sodium source.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, serves as both a cleaner and a deodorizer.
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