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Definition of molybdenum


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mo·lyb·de·num  audio  (m-lbd-nm) KEY 

NOUN:
Symbol Mo
A hard, silvery-white metallic element used to toughen alloy steels and soften tungsten alloy. An essential trace element in plant nutrition, it is used in fertilizers, dyes, enamels, and reagents. Atomic number 42; atomic weight 95.94; melting point 2,617°C; boiling point 4,612°C; specific gravity 10.22 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See Table at element.

ETYMOLOGY:
New Latin, from earlier molybdena, lead ore, from Latin molybdaena, galena, from Greek molubdaina, from molubdos, lead


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