Definition of erbium in English:


(also Er)


mass noun
  • The chemical element of atomic number 68, a soft silvery-white metal of the lanthanide series.

    • ‘The village is Ytterby and the elements are yttrium, erbium, terbium and ytterbium.’
    • ‘Is there enough chromium, cobalt, helium, and manganese - not to mention erbium, europium, and gadolinium - on the planet to last indefinitely?’
    • ‘The devices typically consist of a single-mode fiber core doped with erbium, ytterbium, or a combination thereof; other dopants such as thulium can be used, but the development effort is less advanced.’
    • ‘But by cooling liquid glass very quickly, CRI achieves a more uniform distribution of atoms, allowing the addition of rare-earth elements such as erbium and ytterbium.’
    • ‘For the destructive lasers, meaning carbon dioxide or erbium or blends of those two, the risk of scarring is higher.’


Mid 19th century modern Latin, from Ytterby, in Sweden, where it was first found. Compare with ytterbium.