- a brittle, lustrous, white metallic element occurring in nature free or combined, used chiefly in alloys and in compounds in medicine. Symbol: Sb; atomic number: 51; atomic weight: 121.75.
- a toxic metallic element that exists in two allotropic forms and occurs principally in stibnite. The stable form is a brittle silvery-white crystalline metal that is added to alloys to increase their strength and hardness and is used in semiconductors. Symbol: Sb; atomic no: 51; atomic wt: 121.757; valency: 0, –3, +3, or +5; relative density: 6.691; melting pt: 630.76°C; boiling pt: 1587°C
brittle metallic element, early 15c., from Old French antimoine and directly from Medieval Latin antimonium, an alchemist’s term (used 11c. by Constantinus Africanus), origin obscure, probably a Latinization of Greek stimmi “powdered antimony, black antimony” (a cosmetic used to paint the eyelids), from some Arabic word (cf. al ‘othmud), unless the Arabic word is from the Greek or the Latin is from Arabic; probably ultimately from Egyptian stm “powdered antimony.” In French folk etymology, anti-moine “monk’s bane” (from moine).
As the name of a pure element, it is attested in English from 1788. Its chemical symbol Sb is for Stibium, the Latin name for “black antimony,” which word was used also in English for “black antimony.”
n. Symbol Sb
- A toxic metallic element, compounds of which are used as anthelmintics, especially in the treatment of schistosomiasis. Atomic number 51.
- A metalloid element having many forms, the most common of which is a hard, very brittle, shiny, blue-white crystal. It is used in a wide variety of alloys, especially with lead in car batteries, and in the manufacture of flameproofing compounds. Atomic number 51; atomic weight 121.76; melting point 630.5°C (1,167°F); boiling point 1,380°C (2,516°F); specific gravity 6.691; valence 3, 5. See Periodic Table.