Share this entry

Share this page

polonium

Syllabification: po·lo·ni·um
Pronunciation: /pəˈlōnēəm
 
/

Definition of polonium in English:

noun

The chemical element of atomic number 84, a radioactive metal occurring in nature only as a product of radioactive decay of uranium. (Symbol: Po)
Example sentences
  • In the process, she discovered two new elements that are millions and billions of times more radioactive than uranium: radium and polonium.
  • Gentry had discovered that granites contain microscopic coloration halos produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium.
  • Radon can enter the body through the lungs, where it undergoes alpha decay to form polonium, a radioactive solid that remains in the lungs and continues to emit cancer-causing radiation.

Origin

late 19th century: modern Latin, from medieval Latin Polonia 'Poland' (the native country of Marie Curie, the element's codiscoverer).

Definition of polonium in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…