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rare metallic element, 1833, named 1830 by Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefström (1787-1845), from Old Norse Vanadis, one of the names of the Norse beauty goddess Freyja (see Freya), perhaps because of its colorful compounds.
vanadium va·na·di·um (və-nā'dē-əm)
A soft ductile metallic element, used in rust-resistant high-speed tools, as a carbon stabilizer in some steels, and as a catalyst. Atomic number 23; atomic weight 50.942; melting point 1,900°C; boiling point 3,400°C; specific gravity 6.11; valence 2, 3, 4, 5.
A soft, bright-white metallic element that occurs naturally in several minerals. It has good structural strength and is used especially to make strong varieties of steel. Atomic number 23; atomic weight 50.942; melting point 1,890°C; boiling point 3,000°C; specific gravity 6.11; valence 2, 3, 4, 5. See Periodic Table.