follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

tantalum

[tan-tl-uh m] /ˈtæn tl əm/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a gray, hard, rare, metallic element occurring in columbite and tantalite and usually associated with niobium: used, because of its resistance to corrosion by most acids, for chemical, dental, and surgical instruments and apparatus. Symbol: Ta; atomic weight: 180.948; atomic number: 73; specific gravity: 16.6.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; < Neo-Latin; named after Tantalus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tantalum
  • tantalum is a metal resistant to acid corrosion commonly used in chemical, dental, and surgical instruments.
  • tantalum is a fairly new biomaterial designed with a high and bone-binding porosity.
British Dictionary definitions for tantalum

tantalum

/ˈtæntələm/
noun
1.
a hard greyish-white metallic element that occurs with niobium in tantalite and columbite: used in electrical capacitors in most circuit boards and in alloys to increase hardness and chemical resistance, esp in surgical instruments. Symbol: Ta; atomic no: 73; atomic wt: 180.9479; valency: 2, 3, 4, or 5; relative density: 16.654; melting pt: 3020°C; boiling pt: 5458±100°C
Word Origin
C19: named after Tantalus, with reference to the metal's incapacity to absorb acids
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
Cite This Source
tantalum in Medicine

tantalum tan·ta·lum (tān'tə-ləm)
n.
Symbol Ta
A hard heavy metallic element that is exceptionally resistant to chemical attack below 150°C and is used to make electronic components and surgical instruments. Atomic number 73; atomic weight 180.948; melting point 3,017°C; boiling point 5,458°C; specific gravity 16.7; valence 2, 3, 4, 5.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
tantalum in Science
tantalum
  (tān'tə-ləm)   
Symbol Ta
A hard, heavy, gray metallic element that is highly resistant to corrosion at low temperatures. It is used to make light-bulb filaments, surgical instruments, and glass for camera lenses. Atomic number 73; atomic weight 180.948; melting point 2,996°C; boiling point 5,425°C; specific gravity 16.6; valence 2, 3, 4, 5. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tantalum

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tantalum

10
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tantalum