Definition of cerium in US English:



  • The chemical element of atomic number 58, a silvery white metal. It is the most abundant of the lanthanide elements and is the main component of the alloy misch metal.

    • ‘For most raw materials the combined use of cerium and magnesium followed by ferro-silicon as an inoculent is used to produce spheroidal graphite iron.’
    • ‘Each segment contains small amounts of ions of relatively rare metals, such as dysprosium, thulium, and cerium, which fluoresce in different colors.’
    • ‘His discovery ignited research into the physics of ‘heavy fermion ‘metals, which are a class of alloys that usually involve cerium or uranium.’’
    • ‘That porous layer, which contains stabilized zirconia and small amounts of the metals ruthenium and cerium, chemically and cleanly converts the fuel to hydrogen.’
    • ‘Correlated systems include radioactive metals, such as plutonium, and compounds based on so-called rare earth elements and transition metals, such as cerium, ytterbium and copper.’
    • ‘Green light is also emitted from some lanthanide elements: lanthanum, cerium, and terbium.’
    • ‘We see cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, and so forth, which indicate we are dealing with a rare-earth mineral, and that can mean big problems.’
    • ‘It's done with certain oxides of rare-earth elements such as cerium.’
    • ‘Mosander suggested the name of cerium for the element in honor of the asteroid Ceres that had been discovered in 1801.’
    • ‘By replacing yttrium ions with europium, the researchers could make garnets with a violet hue, while ytterbium, zirconium, and cerium produced green garnets.’
    • ‘At the time, there was much excitement in the scientific community, and the next element to be discovered was named cerium, in the object's honor.’
    • ‘Other minor elements, such as aluminum, antimony, arsenic, bismuth, lead, magnesium, cerium, and calcium, can significantly alter both the graphite morphology and the microstructure of the matrix.’
    • ‘For example, an alloy of calcium and cerium is used in flints in cigarette and other types of lighters.’


Early 19th century: named after the asteroid Ceres, discovered shortly before.