Definition of platinum in US 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.

    • ‘Frank Nuovo of Los Angeles creates cell phones in high-voltage colored plastics and precious metals like platinum.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The belly of the monster was covered in gold, silver, platinum, and precious gems.’
    • ‘This is often a precious metal, although platinum is the metal which is widely used for most catalytic converters.’
    • ‘But a BBC World Service correspondent who visited the area says thousands of illegal miners are extracting material containing cobalt, copper, platinum and uranium.’
    • ‘This contrasts with other precious and semi-precious metals, such as silver and platinum, where industrial demand governs prices.’
    • ‘Oromia is also rich in gold, silver, platinum, marble, uranium, nickel, natural gas, and other mineral resources.’
    • ‘The precious metal platinum is well known to be an excellent catalyst in a number of chemical reactions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fuel cell electrodes contain platinum as the catalyst.’
    • ‘It has been further discovered that photosynthetic membranes can be transformed with metals other than platinum such as osmium and ruthenium.’
    • ‘Jewellery made of platinum, iridium and palladium gleamed majestically, now and then emitting flashes of brilliant light from the studded diamonds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Owing to its high melting point, manufacturing platinum jewellery is also an art.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today, bracelets are worn by both men and women in a variety of materials such as traditional precious metals like gold silver and platinum.’
    • ‘Ruthenium is a precious metal, like platinum.’
    • ‘Over 90 percent pure, platinum is hypoallergenic to most people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The monolith is coated first with oxides, then a layer of metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium is added.’
    blond, blonde, 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. 1.1often as modifier The grayish-white or silvery color of platinum.
      ‘a platinum wig’
      • ‘Behind the platinum hair extensions and big breasts was a very cunning brain.’
      • ‘A sigh escaped from his lips just as he was pushing back his long silvery platinum bangs.’
      • ‘Only 1.6 percent of all artists have ten or more gold singles and only 0.4 percent of all artists have 10 or more platinum singles.’
      • ‘The history of the institution has been prominently displayed at the entrance near the huge pandal, which has been erected for the platinum jubilee celebrations.’
      • ‘Jewellers have been able to bring about a ‘fusion of eastern and western design elements’, so that the platinum collection can be worn for all occasions.’
      • ‘But it can also be achingly beautiful, its color ranging from platinum to ancient jade, depending on the light it's reflecting.’
      • ‘Aziza and Adrian laughed at their cheap platinum wigs and horrible guitar skills.’
      • ‘At the ball on Friday night, the lucky winners of the platinum CD plaque were Gerry and Susan O'Grady of Riverstown.’
      • ‘All three versions are included in the platinum edition, at $79.95.’
      • ‘The squads of lads were being co-ordinated by a Brit in a pinstripe suit, in his hand a mobile phone, round his neck a platinum access-all-areas World Cup pass.’
      • ‘Her hair was a blinding platinum, her eyes a golden color.’
      • ‘Carole-Anne then took over with a make up demonstration, while the usually talkative Susan Rodgers quietly rested with a platinum detox treatment.’
      • ‘I was immersed in her from such an early age that when I look back on my growing up all I can see is a cyclone of platinum wigs, hoe-downs and heartache.’
      • ‘It now sports a black base with an angular platinum flip-top.’
      • ‘In 1994, this beer was awarded a platinum medal at the World Beer Championships, making it one of only two Canadian beers to ever receive this prestigious award.’
      • ‘Abbey has also launched a platinum option that charges the same rates but allows those earning more than #25,000 a year to borrow up to #50,000 on the card.’
      • ‘It is also the owner of an international platinum award for 2002.’
      • ‘The after-school club, which was started three years ago, is now aiming to recycle 50 tonnes of paper, which will make it eligible for the platinum award.’
      • ‘Vikram Khurana of the Cafe Coffee Day spread aroma with ‘Coorg Sunset’, his signature coffee, and won the platinum trophy.’
      • ‘Keith Urban today joined an elite group of Australian artists to be awarded a platinum album in the US, when Golden Road was certified for sales of one million copies.’
      • ‘Warhol in his platinum wig posed as Christ, although his nickname at the times was Drella, a compound of Cinderella and Dracula.’
      • ‘She picked up platinum awards representing sales of more than a million for each of her four Harry Potter books.’


  • go platinum

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On his return from New York his album is released and quickly goes platinum notching up sales of 300,000.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Salt ‘N’ Pepa were the only group to go platinum, but they went platinum off a pop record like ‘Push It.’’
      • ‘Three of her albums have gone double platinum and one has gone gold.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have sold an incredible 30 million records worldwide and have gone platinum in more than 20 countries.’


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