Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless, odorless, inert gaseous element constituting approximately one percent of Earth's atmosphere, from which it is commercially obtained by fractionation for use in electric light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and radio vacuum tubes and as an inert gas shield in arc welding. Atomic number 18; atomic weight 39.948; melting point -189.3°C; boiling point -185.9°C. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chemical element (symbol Ar) with an atomic number of 18.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A colorless, odorless gas occurring in the air (of which it constitutes 0.93 per cent by volume), in volcanic gases, etc.; -- so named on account of its inertness by Rayleigh and Ramsay, who prepared and examined it in 1894-95. Symbol, A; at. wt., 39.9. Argon is condensible to a colorless liquid boiling at -186.1° C. and to a solid melting at -189.6° C. It has a characteristic spectrum. No compounds of it are known, but there is physical evidence that its molecule is monatomic. Weight of one liter at 0° C. and 760 mm., 1.7828 g.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given by Lord Rayleigh and Professor William Ramsay to a new constituent of the atmosphere discovered by them in 1894. It is an inodorous gas, singularly inert chemically.
  • n. A gaseous element having, in the pure state as a gas, a density of 19.96 (H=1) and an atomic weight of 39.6.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a colorless and odorless inert gas; one of the six inert gases; comprises approximately 1% of the earth's atmosphere

Etymologies

From Greek ārgon, neuter of ārgos, idle, inert : a-, without; see a-1 + ergon, work.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀργόν (argon), neuter of ἀργός (argos, "idle, lazy"), because of its inertness. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One of the most characteristic properties, or rather want of properties of argon is its forming no compounds; a circumstance which led to the choice of its name.

    Sir William Ramsay - Nobel Lecture

  • Helium, like argon, is a gas, sparingly soluble in water, withstanding the action of oxygen in presence of caustic soda, under the influence of the electric discharge, as well as of red-hot magnesium.

    Sir William Ramsay - Nobel Lecture

  • On this account it was given the name argon, signifying lazy or idle.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • "First your people can assure everyone that Shiraz does not have an atmosphere of methane and argon, which is one rumor that seems to have circulated widely."

    Quozl

  • "Oh! that, my dear," he answered, beaming over his spectacles with the good nature of superior wisdom, "is known as argon!"

    Toasts and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say the Right Thing in the Right Way

  • The good news is that, in the US, usage has stabilized; for instance, argon, which is one percent of the Earth's atmosphere and is equally cheap, has started displacing it in applications like welding.

    Ars Technica

  • Those compounds and elements include gases such as argon, krypton and xenon, and the proportions of those elements in carbonaceous chondrites don't match what's found on Earth.

    Earth contains a vast amount of water, but scientists are unsure of its origins

  • But, on the contrary, the meaning of "argon" is active and signifies a word that does not establish anything, that produces nothing -- thus, empty, sterile, without effectiveness.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • If windows must be replaced, look for double-paned ones with "Low-e" -- for "low emissivity" -- coatings and gas filling, such as argon and krypton, between panes.

    Saving Energy on the Cheap

  • Air Products, which supplies gases such as argon, helium and nitrogen to customers in the metals, chemical and pharmaceuticals sectors, wants Airgas for its large sales and distribution network and 1,500 sales representatives.

    FinanzNachrichten.de: Aktuelle Nachrichten

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