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transition element

noun, Chemistry
1.
any element in any of the series of elements with atomic numbers 21–29, 39–47, 57–79, and 89–107, that in a given inner orbital has less than a full quota of electrons.
Also called transition metal.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for transition-metal

transition element

noun
1.
(chem) any element belonging to one of three series of elements with atomic numbers between 21 and 30, 39 and 48, and 57 and 80. They have an incomplete penultimate electron shell and tend to exhibit more than one valency and to form complexes
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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transition-metal in Science
transition element
  (trān-zĭsh'ən)   
Any of the metallic elements within Groups 3 through 12 in the Periodic Table. All the transition metals have two electrons in their outermost shell, and all but zinc, cadmium, and mercury have an incompletely filled inner shell (just inside the outermost shell). Transition elements form alloys easily, have high melting points, and have more than one valence because of their incomplete inner shells. See Periodic Table. See Note at metal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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