Definition of platinum in English:



  • 1A precious silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 78. It was first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century and is used in jewelry, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment, and industrial catalysts.

    • ‘Today, bracelets are worn by both men and women in a variety of materials such as traditional precious metals like gold silver and platinum.’
    • ‘The fuel cell electrodes contain platinum as the catalyst.’
    • ‘Oromia is also rich in gold, silver, platinum, marble, uranium, nickel, natural gas, and other mineral resources.’
    • ‘The raw material used for terracotta jewellery is porous type of lean clay, and that is where it becomes different from metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and copper.’
    • ‘It has been further discovered that photosynthetic membranes can be transformed with metals other than platinum such as osmium and ruthenium.’
    • ‘But a BBC World Service correspondent who visited the area says thousands of illegal miners are extracting material containing cobalt, copper, platinum and uranium.’
    • ‘The precious metal platinum is well known to be an excellent catalyst in a number of chemical reactions.’
    • ‘This contrasts with other precious and semi-precious metals, such as silver and platinum, where industrial demand governs prices.’
    • ‘Ruthenium is a precious metal, like platinum.’
    • ‘At the recently held semi-finals of the Miss India contests, she was adorned in an ornate diamond choker and later a platinum diamond drop necklace.’
    • ‘The monolith is coated first with oxides, then a layer of metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium is added.’
    • ‘His fund is more than 85% invested in gold-mining shares, with the rest in companies that dig for other precious metals such as platinum and silver.’
    • ‘But since it was divested of most of its assets, it now concentrates on mining rare metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium in Africa and other regions.’
    • ‘This is often a precious metal, although platinum is the metal which is widely used for most catalytic converters.’
    • ‘Fuel cells contain expensive precious metals like platinum and palladium, they have not been proven to work in extreme weather conditions and the nation's gas stations would need to be reconfigured.’
    • ‘Frank Nuovo of Los Angeles creates cell phones in high-voltage colored plastics and precious metals like platinum.’
    • ‘The belly of the monster was covered in gold, silver, platinum, and precious gems.’
    • ‘Jewellery made of platinum, iridium and palladium gleamed majestically, now and then emitting flashes of brilliant light from the studded diamonds.’
    • ‘Over 90 percent pure, platinum is hypoallergenic to most people.’
    • ‘Owing to its high melting point, manufacturing platinum jewellery is also an art.’
    yellow, yellowish, golden, flaxen, light, light brown, light-coloured, strawberry blonde, tow-coloured, platinum, ash blonde, bleached, bleached-blonde, sun-bleached, peroxide, bottle-blonde
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[often as modifier] The grayish-white or silvery color of platinum.
      ‘a platinum wig’
      • ‘Her hair was a blinding platinum, her eyes a golden color.’
      • ‘But it can also be achingly beautiful, its color ranging from platinum to ancient jade, depending on the light it's reflecting.’


  • go platinum

    • (of a recording) achieve sales meriting a platinum disk.

      • ‘With a fan base in the UK and south east Asia, where 20 of their records have gone platinum, organisers are hoping 911 will help draw in the crowds.’
      • ‘Alien Ant Farm also was on the tour as an opener, and a few weeks in, their record got huge and went platinum, so they wanted to play after us.’
      • ‘An album goes platinum when it represents 1 million units in sales, with a manufacturer's dollar volume of at least $2 million based on 33.33% of suggested list price.’
      • ‘Three of her albums have gone double platinum and one has gone gold.’
      • ‘On his return from New York his album is released and quickly goes platinum notching up sales of 300,000.’
      • ‘The soundtrack album went platinum, the single was a million - seller and won 29-year-old Hayes an Oscar in 1972 for Best Film Song, making him the first black artist to bag that award.’
      • ‘Given that Brightman's records have gone platinum 10 times over in Taiwan - more than any other country on the planet - she wasn't going to stay away for long.’
      • ‘Salt ‘N’ Pepa were the only group to go platinum, but they went platinum off a pop record like ‘Push It.’’
      • ‘Their debut CD, entitled Sunsets and Car Crashes, was released on 111 Records in late 2003, and though it hasn't gone platinum, or even gold, the people who own it will tell you it's too good to wait for that kind of publicity.’
      • ‘They have sold an incredible 30 million records worldwide and have gone platinum in more than 20 countries.’
      • ‘The cruise work made her a household name and put her in the Guinness Book of Records when her debut album went platinum before release.’


Early 19th century: alteration of earlier platina, from Spanish, diminutive of plata silver.