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Pronunciation: mer'kyu-re

Definition: A dense liquid metallic element, atomic no. 80, atomic wt. 200.59; used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, and other scientific instruments; some salts and organic mercurials are used medicinally; care must be followed with its handling; 197Hg (half-life of 2.672 days) and 203Hg (half-life of 46.61 days) have been used in brain and renal scanning.

Synonym(s): hydrargyrum, quicksilver

[L. Mercurius, Mercury, the god of trade, messenger of the gods; in Mediev. L., quicksilver, mercury]

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.