[mass noun] The chemical element of atomic number 70, a silvery-white metal of the lanthanide series.
- ‘Other researchers are looking into using different atoms, such as calcium, strontium, and ytterbium.’
- ‘I have elements in there that I've never even contemplated using before - stuff like indium, tantalum, ytterbium, and praseodymium.’
- ‘It is extracted from its ores by heating lanthanum metal with ytterbium oxide.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Ytterby, the name of a Swedish quarry where it was first found.