rare metallic element, 1833, named 1830 by Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Sefström (1787-1845), from Old Norse Vanadis, one of the names of the Norse beauty goddess Freyja (perhaps from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for," which would connect it to Venus); the metal perhaps so called for of its colorful compounds (an earlier name for it was erythronium, for the redness of its salts when heated). With metallic element ending -ium. Related: Vanadous; vanadious.
van de Graaff
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