Meaning of polonium in English:


(also Po)

Pronunciation /pəˈləʊnɪəm/


mass noun
  • The chemical element of atomic number 84, a radioactive metal occurring in nature only as a product of radioactive decay of uranium.

    ‘In the process, she discovered two new elements that are millions and billions of times more radioactive than uranium: radium and polonium.’
    • ‘Gentry had discovered that granites contain microscopic coloration halos produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium.’
    • ‘Radon can enter the body through the lungs, where it undergoes alpha decay to form polonium, a radioactive solid that remains in the lungs and continues to emit cancer-causing radiation.’
    • ‘The uranium eventually decays to radium and, eventually to polonium-210, a substance that, when inhaled, can endanger tissue health and damage the immune system.’
    • ‘This generator is a small pellet of polonium and beryllium, separated by foil within the fissionable fuel core.’


Late 19th century modern Latin, from medieval Latin Polonia ‘Poland’ (the native country of Marie Curie, the element's co-discoverer).