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Element

Definition

noun, plural: elements

(physics, chemistry) A substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by chemical means, and is made up of atoms all with identical number of protons.

(general)

(1) A fundamental component of a composite entity (such as a vessel element that makes up the vessels in angiosperms).

(2) A place or condition best suited or most favorable for an individual (e.g. water is the element of fishes).

(3) Any of the formerly theorized building blocks of material universe: water, earth, fire and air.


Supplement

Common examples of elements are iron, copper, silver, gold, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The combination of these elements form a compound. For instance, the combination of sodium and chlorine atoms results in the formation of a table salt or sodium chloride.


Word origin: from Latin elementum.
Related forms: elemental (adjective)

See also: compound

Related terms:


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A question about what living organisms are made up of.

Ok. Thanks, JackBean. They can contain any other element? What do you mean cells can contain any other element? Do you have any idea of, or is there any theories on why life as we know it is usually made up of these elements? Thanks

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by Anonymous99
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A question about what living organisms are made up of.

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A question about what living organisms are made up of.

Well, yes one could say that carbon is the main element. Carbon forms the backbone of most of the substances. Those are called organic molecules. However, there are of course also some inorganic compounds present.

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