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trace element

noun, Biochemistry
1.
any element that is required in minute quantities for physiological functioning.
Also called trace mineral.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for trace mineral

trace element

noun
1.
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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trace mineral in Medicine

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.
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trace mineral in Science
trace element
  (trās)   
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.
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Encyclopedia Article for trace mineral

micromineral

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 micromineral with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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