Definition of holmium in English:



  • The chemical element of atomic number 67, a soft silvery-white metal of the lanthanide series.

    • ‘Holmium is extracted from its ores by heating calcium metal with holmium fluoride.’
    • ‘During the procedure, a holmium laser is used to open channels in the wall of the heart to restore blood flow and oxygen.’
    • ‘This equipment will include ultrasound machines, endoscopes and a holmium laser, which can be used to treat some cancers on a non-invasive outpatient basis.’
    • ‘Typically pulsed dye lasers or the holmium laser are used with very short pulses of high peak power to shatter the stones.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Holmia, Latinized form of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden (because many minerals of the yttrium group, to which holmium belongs, are found in that area); discovered by P.T. Cleve, Swedish chemist.