noun Chemistry.

  1. a metallic element found combined in zircon, baddeleyite, etc., resembling titanium chemically: used in steel metallurgy, as a scavenger, as a refractory, and as an opacifier in vitreous enamels. Symbol: Zr; atomic weight: 91.22; atomic number: 40; specific gravity: 6.49 at 20°C.


  1. a greyish-white metallic element, occurring chiefly in zircon, that is exceptionally corrosion-resistant and has low neutron absorption. It is used as a coating in nuclear and chemical plants, as a deoxidizer in steel, and alloyed with niobium in superconductive magnets. Symbol: Zr; atomic no: 40; atomic wt: 91.224; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 6.506; melting pt: 1855±2°C; boiling pt: 4409°C

metallic chemical element, 1808, coined by German chemist and mineralogist Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817) in 1789; so called because it was found in zircon.

n. Symbol Zr

  1. A strong ductile metallic element obtained primarily from zircon, used in deodorants and dermatologic preparations. Atomic number 40.


  1. A shiny, grayish-white metallic element that occurs primarily in zircon. It is used to build nuclear reactors because of its ability to withstand bombardment by neutrons even at high temperatures. Zirconium is also highly resistant to corrosion, making it a useful component of pumps, valves, and alloys. Atomic number 40; atomic weight 91.22; melting point 1,852°C; boiling point 4,377°C; specific gravity 6.56 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4. See Periodic Table.
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