1. (Science: chemistry, element) A rare element of the chromium group found in certain minerals, as wolfram and scheelite, and isolated as a heavy steel-gray metal which is very hard and infusible. It has both acid and basic properties. When alloyed in small quantities with steel, it greatly increases its hardness.
Origin: Sw. Tungsten (cf. Dan. Tungsteen, G. Tungstein); tung heavy (akin to Dan. Tung, Icel. Thungr) _ sten stone. (Wolframium).