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[ih-tree-uh m] /ˈɪ tri əm/
noun, Chemistry.
a rare trivalent metallic element, found in gadolinite and other minerals. Symbol: Y; atomic weight: 88.905; atomic number: 39; specific gravity: 4.47.
Origin of yttrium
1815-25; < New Latin, named after Ytterby. See ytterbia, -ium
Related forms
yttric, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yttrium
Historical Examples
  • One funnel of yttrium contains exactly the same number of atoms as is contained in a gaseous atom of nitrogen.

    Occult Chemistry Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • Its group members, scandium and yttrium, have the same form; we have not examined the fourth; the group is positive.

    Occult Chemistry Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • yttrium was obtained by Whler in 1828, as a brittle, dark-grey metal, made from the chloride by the action of sodium.

  • In yttrium, on the proto level, a 110 and b 63 both escape from the funnel, and behave as in scandium.

    Occult Chemistry Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • Erbium, a rare metal found along with yttrium, terbium, and other rare elements in some rare minerals.

  • Nitrogen has nothing new to show us, all its constituents having appeared in scandium and yttrium.

    Occult Chemistry Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater
  • A rare metal found by Prof. Mosander, associated with erbium and yttrium in ordinary yttria.

British Dictionary definitions for yttrium


a silvery metallic element occurring in monazite and gadolinite and used in various alloys, in lasers, and as a catalyst. Symbol: Y; atomic no: 39; atomic wt: 88.90585; valency: 3; relative density: 4.469; melting pt: 1522°C; boiling pt: 3338°C
Derived Forms
yttric, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin; see ytterbia
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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Word Origin and History for yttrium

metallic rare-earth element, 1866, coined in Modern Latin by Swedish chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander (1797-1858) from Ytterby, name of a town in Sweden where mineral containing it was found.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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yttrium in Medicine

yttrium yt·tri·um (ĭt'rē-əm)
Symbol Y
A silvery, ductile, rare-earth element used in various alloys. Atomic number 39; atomic weight 88.905; melting point 1,522°C; boiling point 3,338°C; specific gravity 4.47 (25°C); valence 3.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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yttrium in Science
Symbol Y
A silvery metallic element found in the same ores as elements of the lanthanide series. Yttrium is used to strengthen magnesium and aluminum alloys, to provide the red color in color televisions, and as a component of various optical and electronic devices. Atomic number 39; atomic weight 88.906; melting point 1,522°C; boiling point 3,338°C; specific gravity 4.45 (25°C); valence 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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