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

  • n. A very hard, heavy, gray metallic element that is exceptionally resistant to chemical attack below 150°C. It is used to make light-bulb filaments, electrolytic capacitors, lightning arresters, nuclear reactor parts, and some surgical instruments. Atomic number 73; atomic weight 180.948; melting point 2,996°C; boiling point 5,425°C; specific gravity 16.6; valence 2, 3, 4, 5. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A metallic chemical element (symbol Ta) with an atomic number of 73.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rare nonmetallic element found in certain minerals, as tantalite, samarskite, and fergusonite, and isolated as a dark powder which becomes steel-gray by burnishing. Symbol Ta. Atomic weight 182.0. Formerly called also tantalium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Knowledge of this metal has been much increased by recent research. Brought to the elementary state by heating together sodium and an alkaline tantalofluoride and fused in an electric furnace, it appears as a solid of grayish-white color and metallic luster, like platinum, of specific gravity 16.64. It combines in a most remarkable way intense hardness with a high degree of ductility, so that it can be drawn into wire.05 millimeters in diameter having a resisting tensile stress ranging up to 93 kilos., or for fine wire 150 or 160 kilos., per square millimeter before breaking. It melts at 2,250–2,300° C., resists all the ordinary acids and alkaline solutions, is attacked by hydrofluoric acid and by fused caustic alkalis, and as thin wire bums, when heated in oxygen, with a bright white light.
  • n. Chemical symbol, Ta; atomic weight, 192. One of the rare metals occurring in various combinations, but hardly known at all in the separate metallic state.

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

  • n. a hard grey lustrous metallic element that is highly resistant to corrosion; occurs in niobite and fergusonite and tantalite


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

New Latin, from Latin Tantalus, Tantalus (from its high resistance to absorbing acids even when immersed in them); see Tantalus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A New Latin word derived by Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg in 1802, from Latin tantalus, named in honor of Tantalus. See -ium.


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  • Ta

    December 1, 2007