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.

    Lithium occurs widely as a minor component of silicate rocks, and in some rare minerals. The metal and its compounds are used in alloys, lubricating greases, chemical reagents, batteries, and other products

    • ‘Like hydrogen and helium, lithium was made in the big bang.’
    • ‘The group lithium - sodium - potassium has a valency of one, as does the group chlorine - bromine - iodine.’
    • ‘His recovery of the rare and vital ores of tantalum, lithium, and beryllium greatly aided the War Production Board.’
    • ‘Elemental nitrogen, however, is only capable of oxidizing a few metals such as lithium and magnesium.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 Lithium carbonate or another lithium salt, used as a mood-stabilizing drug.
      • ‘Short term use of antidepressants and lithium and hypnosis offer limited help.’
      • ‘Other blood tests may also be periodically taken to monitor potential harmful effects of Lithium on the kidney and thyroid.’
      • ‘The current treatment for bipolar disorder is mood stabilizers such as lithium and anticonvulsants.’
      • ‘He was hospitalized for several weeks, finally diagnosed as manic-depressive, and prescribed lithium.’
      • ‘Other agents, such as lithium, neuroleptics, trazadone and benzodiazepines, have not proved effective.’
      • ‘If lithium is abruptly discontinued during the manic phase, relapse may occur within several days.’
      • ‘These include amphetamines, antidepressant drugs, caffeine, corticosteroids and lithium.’
      • ‘Four patients received lithium and three received placebo.’
      • ‘Lithium was more effective than carbamazepine in the prophylaxis of mania.’
      • ‘Patients who are prescribed lithium must be told about the increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.’
      • ‘Thus, lithium is the drug of choice when a mood-stabilizing medication must be used in pregnancy.’
      • ‘Further studies of the effect of lithium and other psychotropic drugs on the risk of crashes would be valuable.’
      • ‘The remaining patient, who had received lithium, improved markedly over the 48 hour period.’
      • ‘He takes lithium every day, and doesn't much like it.’
      • ‘Moreover, despite the benefits of drugs such as lithium shown in a Cochrane review, pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder is potentially toxic.’
      • ‘Such patients are usually monitored for the effect of lithium on the kidney by the estimation of serum electrolytes.’
      • ‘A few drugs like barbiturates and lithium have been known to cause acne.’
      • ‘The inositol supplements had a significantly beneficial effect on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium.’
      • ‘In some patients lithium was discontinued after several weeks without relapse of symptoms, while in other cases patients relapsed.’
      • ‘The patients may become unnecessarily worried with the result that they discontinue the lithium.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from lithia + -ium.

Pronunciation

lithium

/ˈliTHēəm//ˈlɪθiəm/