Definition of gallium in US English:



  • The chemical element of atomic number 31, a soft silvery-white metal which melts at about 30°C, just above room temperature.

    • ‘The study of certain substances, such as gallium, silicon, and germanium, revealed that they too had the ability to conduct electricity, but they had special properties.’
    • ‘Using a silent electromagnetic pump, liquid gallium flows through the tubes of their Blizzard line of graphics cards.’
    • ‘Such receivers generally feature between 10 to 20 chips made of gallium which is more expensive than silicon, yet considered necessary to satisfy the high performance requirements of mobile phone networks.’
    • ‘Journalists seek to profile any engineer or scientist who claims to turn gallium into gold.’
    • ‘At the 0.2% level, gallium has been found to affect the corrosion characteristics and the response to etching and brightening of some alloys.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the technology contributes nothing to carbon dioxide emissions and consumes only the resources used to manufacture the solar panels (the metals copper, indium and gallium and the non-metal selenium).’
    • ‘The fluoroanions of aluminum, gallium, and indium are novel weakly coordinating anions which are are highly fluorinated.’
    • ‘The plutonium pits of nuclear weapons employ an alloy with gallium to stabilize the allotropes of plutonium.’
    • ‘That experiment looked at the effects of microgravity on a mixture of molten mercury and gallium.’
    • ‘The soft metal gallium has such a low melting point that it will liquefy on contact with your hand.’
    • ‘Rorrer's lab aims to incorporate elements such as silicon, germanium, titanium, and gallium into the diatoms' silica shells.’
    • ‘Like gallium, indium - 111 labeled polyclonal Ig also localizes to infection but does not accumulate in KS or lymphoma.’
    • ‘One of the most studied of these materials, called ferromagnetic shape-memory alloys, contains nickel, manganese, and gallium.’
    • ‘They blended and heated plutonium with gallium and cobalt and then slowly cooled the molten mixture.’
    • ‘Lecoq de Boisbaudran suggested the name gallium for the new element in honor of the ancient Latin name for France, Gallia.’
    • ‘The ferromagnetic substances, which have a large K value and are positive; iron, cobalt, nickel, and gallium fall under this heading.’
    • ‘In fact, his table successfully predicted the existence of gallium and germanium, which were discovered later.’
    • ‘The group III and IV elements (boron, aluminum, gallium, indium, carbon, silicon, germanium, tin), on the other hand, tend to form covalent halides.’
    • ‘Very pure gallium requires a number of further processes ending with zone refining to make very pure gallium metal.’
    • ‘I finally united the six samples of pure gallium mentioned before into one quite homogeneous piece.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin Gallia ‘France’ or gallus ‘cock’; named (either patriotically or as a translation of his own name) by Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838–1912), the French chemist who discovered it in 1875.