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[zee-non, zen-on] /ˈzi nɒn, ˈzɛn ɒn/
noun, Chemistry
a heavy, colorless, chemically inactive, monatomic gaseous element used for filling radio, television, and luminescent tubes. Symbol: Xe; atomic weight: 131.30; atomic number: 54.
1898; < Greek xénon, neuter of xénos strange (see -on2); name introduced by William Ramsay, the element's discoverer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for xenon
  • On top of that, lasers last for a long time, whereas xenon lamps burn out and need to be replaced periodically.
  • It also has instruments to monitor noble gases, such as xenon.
  • All of it was believed to be in the form of two relatively innocuous gases, xenon and krypton.
  • The headlights are active xenon lamps that follow the road around curves.
  • The package also includes xenon high-intensity discharge headlights.
British Dictionary definitions for xenon


a colourless odourless gaseous element occurring in trace amounts in air; formerly considered inert it is now known to form compounds and is used in radio valves, stroboscopic and bactericidal lamps, and bubble chambers. Symbol: Xe; atomic no: 54; atomic wt: 131.29; valency: 0; density: 5.887 kg/m³; melting pt: –111.76°C; boiling pt: –108.0°C
Word Origin
C19: from Greek: something strange
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for xenon

gaseous element, 1898, from Greek xenon, neuter of xenos "foreign, strange" (see guest); coined by its co-discoverer, Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916); cf. krypton.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xenon in Medicine

xenon xe·non (zē'nŏn')
Symbol Xe
A colorless, odorless, highly unreactive gaseous element found in minute quantities in the atmosphere and extracted commercially from liquefied air. Atomic number 54; atomic weight 131.29; melting point -111.8°C; boiling point -108.0°C; density (gas) 5.887 grams per liter; specific gravity (liquid) 3.52 (-109°C).

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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xenon in Science
Symbol Xe
A colorless, odorless element in the noble gas group occurring in extremely small amounts in the atmosphere. It was the first noble gas found to form compounds with other elements. Xenon is used in lamps that make intense flashes, such as strobe lights and flashbulbs for photography. Atomic number 54; atomic weight 131.29; melting point -111.9°C; boiling point -107.1°C; density (gas) 5.887 grams per liter; specific gravity (liquid) 3.52 (-109°C). See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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