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n. Symbol W
A hard, brittle, corrosion-resistant, gray to white metallic element extracted from wolframite, scheelite, and other minerals, having the highest melting point and lowest vapor pressure of any metal. Tungsten and its alloys are used in high-temperature structural materials and wear-resistant tools and machine parts; in electrical elements, notably lamp filaments; and in instruments requiring thermally compatible glass-to-metal seals. Atomic number 74; atomic weight 183.84; melting point 3,422°C; boiling point 5,555°C; specific gravity 19.3 (20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Also called wolfram. See Periodic Table.
[Swedish : tung, heavy (from Old Norse thungr) + sten, stone (from Old Norse steinn; see stāi- in Indo-European roots).]
tung·sten′ic (-stĕn′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.