Definition of platinum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplatɪnəm/


[mass noun]
1A precious silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 78. It was first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century, and is used in jewellery, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment, and industrial catalysts. (Symbol: Pt)
Example sentences
  • Fuel cells contain expensive precious metals like platinum and palladium, they have not been proven to work in extreme weather conditions and the nation's gas stations would need to be reconfigured.
  • This is often a precious metal, although platinum is the metal which is widely used for most catalytic converters.
  • His fund is more than 85% invested in gold-mining shares, with the rest in companies that dig for other precious metals such as platinum and silver.
1.1 [often as modifier] Greyish white or silvery like platinum: a platinum wig
More example sentences
  • I was immersed in her from such an early age that when I look back on my growing up all I can see is a cyclone of platinum wigs, hoe-downs and heartache.
  • Warhol in his platinum wig posed as Christ, although his nickname at the times was Drella, a compound of Cinderella and Dracula.
  • Aziza and Adrian laughed at their cheap platinum wigs and horrible guitar skills.


go platinum

(Of a recording) achieve sales meriting a platinum disc.
Example sentences
  • Salt ‘N’ Pepa were the only group to go platinum, but they went platinum off a pop record like ‘Push It.’
  • On his return from New York his album is released and quickly goes platinum notching up sales of 300,000.
  • An album goes platinum when it represents 1 million units in sales, with a manufacturer's dollar volume of at least $2 million based on 33.33% of suggested list price.


Early 19th century: alteration of earlier platina, from Spanish, diminutive of plata 'silver'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: plat|inum

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