One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 42, a brittle silver-grey metal of the transition series, used in some alloy steels.
- ‘The corresponding loss in yield strength is compensated by alloying with vanadium, nitrogen, chromium, molybdenum, and titanium.’
- ‘Common hydroprocessing catalysts consist of an aluminum oxide carrier on to which the metals molybdenum and nickel or cobalt are added.’
- ‘One might be able to recover from waste relatively pure metals, such as chromium and molybdenum, which are for all practical purposes identical to unused materials.’
- ‘We added copper, cobalt, selenium, molybdenum, etc to the deficient soils and transformed the plant and animal health.’
- ‘Vanadium, molybdenum, niobium, titanium, chromium, nickel, manganese are but a few of the many metals which make their way into steel to yield alloys with special properties.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin, earlier molybdena (originally denoting a salt of lead), from Greek molubdaina ‘plummet’, from molubdos ‘lead’.
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