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(Science: chemistry, element) a rare metallic element associated with several other rare elements in the mineral gadolinite from Ytterby in Sweden. Its salts are rose-coloured and give characteristic spectra. Its sesquioxide is called erbia.

atomic weight: 165.9

Abbreviation: er

Origin: NL. From Ytterby, in Sweden, where gadolinite is found. Cf. Terbium, yttrium, ytterbium.