barium /ˈbɛːrɪəm/


I. noun [ mass noun]

1. (Symbol: Ba) the chemical element of atomic number 56, a soft white reactive metal of the alkaline earth group.
2. a mixture of barium sulphate and water, opaque to X-rays, which is swallowed to permit radiological examination of the stomach or intestines

[as modifier]

a barium meal.
Barium compounds are used in water purification, the glass industry, and pigments, and as an ingredient of signal flares and fireworks, to which they give a bright yellowish-green colour. Barium oxide is a component of high-temperature superconductors.
– origin early 19th cent.: from baryta + -ium.

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