molybdenum[mə lib′də nəm]
a very hard, lustrous, silver-white metallic chemical element, used in alloys, points for spark plugs, etc.: symbol, Mo; at. no., 42
Origin of molybdenumModL: so named (1781) by K. W. Scheele (see scheelite) after its isolation by P. J. Hjelm (1746-1813), Swedish chemist ; from molybdaena, molybdenite, term used because of resemblance to lead ore ; from Classical Latin molybdaena, lead, galena ; from Classical Greek molybdaina, piece of lead ; from molybdos, lead
A hard, silvery-white metallic element used to toughen steels and in corrosion-resistant nickel alloys. An essential trace element in plant nutrition, it is used in fertilizers, dyes, enamels, and reagents. Atomic number 42; atomic weight 95.96; melting point 2,623°C; boiling point 4,639°C; specific gravity 10.22 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See Periodic Table.
Origin of molybdenumNew Latin, from earlier molybdena, lead ore, from Latin molybdaena, galena, from Greek molubdaina, from molubdos, lead, probably from Lydian mariwda, dark.
- A metallic chemical element (symbol Mo) with an atomic number of 42.
From New Latin molybdenum, from Ancient Greek μόλυβδος (molubdos, “lead”), because the two elements are so similar they were often confused.