Definition of technetium in English:



mass noun
  • The chemical element of atomic number 43, a radioactive metal. Technetium was the first element to be created artificially, in 1937, by bombarding molybdenum with deuterons.

    • ‘All forms of the element technetium are radioactive and have relatively short half-lives.’
    • ‘An isotope of the rare element technetium, denoted Tc, is widely used to form images of the heart, brain, lungs, spleen, and other organs.’
    • ‘At Sellafield in Cumbria, tests have shown that discharges of the radioactive pollutant technetium pumped into the Irish Sea have spread as far as Scandinavia and have entered the food chain.’
    • ‘Some forms of nuclear radiation - such as the beta-emission from radioactive technetium - 99-are particularly difficult to detect underground, partly because the radiation doesn't travel very far.’
    • ‘In sentinel biopsy, radiolabelled technetium is injected into the tumor or surrounding lung, and a gamma camera is used to detect the nodes that the cancer is most likely to spread to first.’


1940s: modern Latin, from Greek tekhnētos ‘artificial’, from tekhnasthai ‘make by art’, from tekhnē ‘art’.