molybdenum (n.)

silvery-white metallic element, 1816, from molybdena (1690s), a name used generally for lead-like minerals, from Latinized form of Greek molybdos "lead," also "black graphite," related to Latin plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)), and like it probably borrowed from a lost Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian. The element was so called because of its resemblance to lead ore. Related: Molybdenous; molybdic.

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