trace element

noun Biochemistry.
any element that is required in minute quantities for physiological functioning.
Also called trace mineral.


Origin:
1935–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To trace element
Collins
World English Dictionary
trace element
 
n
any of various chemical elements, such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and iodine, that occur in very small amounts in organisms and are essential for many physiological and biochemical processes

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

trace element n.

  1. A chemical element required in minute quantities by an organism to maintain proper physical functioning.

  2. A minute quantity or amount, as of a chemical compound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
trace element   (trās)  Pronunciation Key 
An element present in an organism in only very small amounts but essential for normal metabolism. iodine and cobalt are trace elements required by humans.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

trace element

in biology, any chemical element required by living organisms in minute amounts, usually as part of a vital enzyme, a cell-produced catalytic protein. Exact needs vary among species, but commonly required plant micronutrients include copper, boron, zinc, manganese, and molybdenum. Animals also require manganese, iodine, and cobalt. Lack of a necessary plant micronutrient in the soil causes plant deficiency diseases; lack of animal micronutrients in the soil may not harm the plants, but, without them, animals feeding solely on those plants develop deficiency diseases.

Learn more about trace element with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Surely, no one is making a calendar of the best trace element plots of each year, that is for sure.
The plume would mix with other pollutants in the air, but the selenium came along as a trace element.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;