Definition of lithium in US English:

lithium

noun

  • 1The chemical element of atomic number 3, a soft silver-white metal. It is the lightest of the alkali metals.

    • ‘Personally, I would like to see neither battery used in the long run and we move to the lithium battery, because lithium is the lightest metal.’
    • ‘Like hydrogen and helium, lithium was made in the big bang.’
    • ‘Elemental nitrogen, however, is only capable of oxidizing a few metals such as lithium and magnesium.’
    • ‘His recovery of the rare and vital ores of tantalum, lithium, and beryllium greatly aided the War Production Board.’
    • ‘The group lithium - sodium - potassium has a valency of one, as does the group chlorine - bromine - iodine.’
    1. 1.1 Lithium carbonate or another lithium salt, used as a mood-stabilizing drug.
      • ‘The current treatment for bipolar disorder is mood stabilizers such as lithium and anticonvulsants.’
      • ‘If lithium is abruptly discontinued during the manic phase, relapse may occur within several days.’
      • ‘Thus, lithium is the drug of choice when a mood-stabilizing medication must be used in pregnancy.’
      • ‘The remaining patient, who had received lithium, improved markedly over the 48 hour period.’
      • ‘Moreover, despite the benefits of drugs such as lithium shown in a Cochrane review, pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder is potentially toxic.’
      • ‘He was hospitalized for several weeks, finally diagnosed as manic-depressive, and prescribed lithium.’
      • ‘The inositol supplements had a significantly beneficial effect on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium.’
      • ‘These include amphetamines, antidepressant drugs, caffeine, corticosteroids and lithium.’
      • ‘Other agents, such as lithium, neuroleptics, trazadone and benzodiazepines, have not proved effective.’
      • ‘A few drugs like barbiturates and lithium have been known to cause acne.’
      • ‘The patients may become unnecessarily worried with the result that they discontinue the lithium.’
      • ‘Short term use of antidepressants and lithium and hypnosis offer limited help.’
      • ‘Lithium was more effective than carbamazepine in the prophylaxis of mania.’
      • ‘Such patients are usually monitored for the effect of lithium on the kidney by the estimation of serum electrolytes.’
      • ‘Further studies of the effect of lithium and other psychotropic drugs on the risk of crashes would be valuable.’
      • ‘In some patients lithium was discontinued after several weeks without relapse of symptoms, while in other cases patients relapsed.’
      • ‘Patients who are prescribed lithium must be told about the increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.’
      • ‘Other blood tests may also be periodically taken to monitor potential harmful effects of Lithium on the kidney and thyroid.’
      • ‘Four patients received lithium and three received placebo.’
      • ‘He takes lithium every day, and doesn't much like it.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from lithia + -ium.

Pronunciation

lithium

/ˈliTHēəm//ˈlɪθiəm/