from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A native tungstate of iron and manganese. Its color is generally a brownish or grayish black, and it has a reddish-brown streak.
  • noun The metal tungsten or wolframium: an improper and now uncommon use.

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

  • noun (Min.) Same as wolframite.
  • noun same as tungsten.

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

  • noun wolframite
  • noun tungsten

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

  • noun a heavy grey-white metallic element; the pure form is used mainly in electrical applications; it is found in several ores including wolframite and scheelite


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

[German Wolfram, wolframite, tungsten, from earlier, a mineral (possibly wolframite) with a sooty appearance that when present in tin ore made the extraction of tin more difficult : Wolf, wolf (because the mineral seemed to eat up tin as a wolf eats a sheep) (from Middle High German, from Old High German; see wl̥kwo- in Indo-European roots) + -ram (from Middle High German rām, soot).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From German Wolfram, of disputed origin; possibly Wolf ("wolf") + Ram ("dirt, soot"); or Wolf ("wolf") + Rahm ("cream"), calque of Latin lupī spūma “wolf’s foam”; or from a surname.


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  • 100% mineral, despite the name - there is nothing lupine or ovine about it.

    November 3, 2007

  • I made a very bad joke today, about the makers of Mathematica suing the periodic table, resulting in tungsten. When nobody laughed I said "too obscure?", and they replied, "too unfunny".

    November 3, 2007