Rare-earth meaning

Rare earth is any of the seventeen metallic chemical elements found in atomic numbers 21, 39 and 57 through 71, typically found dispersed in deposits of chemicals with similar chemical properties.

An example of rare earth is cerium, a chemical oxidizing agent, that provides the yellow color in glass and acts as a catalyst for self-cleaning ovens.

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Any of various oxides of the rare-earth elements.
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A rare-earth element.
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Any of certain basic oxides much alike in physical and chemical properties; specif., any of the oxides of the rare-earth elements.
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Any of the rare-earth elements.
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(chemistry) Naturally occurring oxides of the lanthanide metals; they are widely distributed in relatively small concentrations and are used in glassmaking, ceramic glazes etc.
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Origin of rare-earth

  • rare (because the minerals from which the rare-earth elements were first isolated are uncommon) earth metallic oxide
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition