from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rare metallic element that is liquid near room temperature, expands on solidifying, and is found as a trace element in coal, bauxite, and other minerals. It is used in semiconductor technology, as a component of various low-melting alloys, and in producing blue light-emitting diodes. Atomic number 31; atomic weight 69.72; melting point 29.78°C; boiling point 2,403°C; specific gravity 5.907; valence 2, 3. cross-reference: Periodic Table.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Chemical symbol, Ga; specific gravity, 5.935. A rare malleable metal, discovered by means of spectrum analysis in 1875 by M. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in the zinc-blende of Pierrefitte in the Pyrenees.
  • noun The discovery of this chemical element was peculiarly interesting, as furnishing striking evidence of the soundness of the theoretical views, as to the relations of the elements, which led Mendeléjeff in 1869 to predict the existence of such a substance and give a description of the properties it would be found to exhibit: his prediction required scarcely any correction when the element was actually discovered.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) A rare metallic element, found combined in certain zinc ores. It is white, hard, and malleable, resembling aluminium, and remarkable for its low melting point (86° F., 30° C.). Symbol, Ga; at. wt., 69.9. Gallium is chiefly trivalent, resembling aluminium and indium. It was predicted with most of its properties, under the name eka-aluminium, by the Russian chemist Mendelyeev on the basis of the periodic law. This prediction was verified in its discovery (in 1875) by the French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran by its characteristic spectrum (two violet lines), in an examination of a zinc blende from the Pyrenees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A chemical element (symbol Ga) with an atomic number of 31; a soft bluish metal.

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

  • noun a rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element; brittle at low temperatures but liquid above room temperature; occurs in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores


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

[From Latin gallus, cock, punning translation of surname of Paul Émile Lecoq, de Boisbaudran (1838–1912), French chemist and element's discoverer : French le, the + French coq, rooster.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named by its discoverer Lecoq, after Latin Gallia ("Gaul"). It was claimed that Lecoq had named the element after himself, since gallus is the Latin translation of the French le coq, but Lecoq denied this in an article of 1877.


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  • Ga.

    December 16, 2007

  • It looks almost too good to be true--I loved playing with mercury in school.

    September 28, 2010

  • How galling?

    September 28, 2010

  • It sounds more fun than the mercury we all played with as kids before we saw the shadow demonstration of the fumes rising up.

    September 28, 2010