Definitions

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

  • n. A chemical element required in minute quantities by an organism to maintain proper physical functioning.
  • n. A minute quantity or amount: "The trace elements of belief vanish when it becomes apparent that the . . . officer . . . never has suffered the indignity of combat” ( Lewis H. Lapham).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chemical element present in a sample in very small quantities.
  • n. A chemical element in an organism’s diet that is required in very small amounts in order to maintain proper biochemical function; a micronutrient.

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

  • n. an element that occurs at very small quantities in the body but is nonetheless important for many biological processes

Etymologies

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