Definition of germanium in English:



  • The chemical element of atomic number 32, a shiny gray semimetal. Germanium was important in the making of transistors and other semiconductor devices, but has been largely replaced by silicon.

    • ‘Microprocessors are fabricated on a single crystal of a semiconducting material such as silicon or germanium.’
    • ‘Recently, alloys of gadolinium, germanium and silicon have produces a much larger effect size of 3 to 4°C per Tesla change.’
    • ‘By forcing crystals of germanium or silicon to grow with impurities such as boron or phosphorus, the crystals gain entirely different electrical conductive properties.’
    • ‘Improving the performance of silicon transistors and circuits by adding another semiconductor material is one approach, and silicon germanium is the most popular of the new materials.’
    • ‘Rorrer's lab aims to incorporate elements such as silicon, germanium, titanium, and gallium into the diatoms' silica shells.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin Germanus (see German).