a hard, ductile, gray or black, metallic chemical element found combined in zircon, etc., and used in alloys, ceramics, the cladding for nuclear fuel in reactors, etc.: symbol, Zr; at. no., 40 see the periodic table of elements in the Reference Supplement
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, compiled by the
editors of Webster’s New World Dictionaries. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'zirconium'
ModL < zirconia
: name proposed (1808) by Davy
for element later isolated (1824) by Berzelius