a rare, tin-white, brittle, nonmetallic chemical element, belonging to the same family of elements as sulfur and selenium and occurring naturally in mineral tellurite and tellurides: it is used as a glass tint, as an alloying material, and in thermoelectric converters: symbol, Te; at. no. 52
Origin of telluriumModL: coined (1798) by M. H. Klaproth (1743-1817), German chemist ; from Classical Latin tellus, earth (see tellurian) + -ium, in contrast to uranium
A brittle, silvery-white, rare metallic element usually found in combination with gold and other metals, produced commercially as a byproduct of the electrolytic refining of copper and used in compact discs, semiconductors, ceramics, and blasting caps and (in the form of bismuth telluride) in thermoelectric devices. In alloys it improves the machinability of stainless steel or copper, and increases the durability and hardness of lead. Atomic number 52; atomic weight 127.60; melting point 449.5°C; boiling point 988°C; specific gravity 6.23 (20°C); valence 2, 4, 6. See Periodic Table.
Origin of telluriumFrom Latin tell&umacron;s, tell&umacron;r-, earth (by contrast with uranium, under a conception of the latter as an element of the heavens because of its being named after the planet Uranus).
- (uncountable) The chemical element with atomic number 52. Symbol: Te.
- A variant spelling of tellurion.