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From Latin -um (neuter singular morphological suffix), based on Latin terms for metals, such as ferrum.



  1. Used to form the names of metal elements, after the style of early-named elements, as well as the isotopes of hydrogen.
  2. By extension, appended to common words to create scientific-sounding or humorous-sounding fictional substance names.
    • 2009, Selena Kitt, Quickies, p. 91:
      We're at the North Pole, aren't we? Let's just call the new element Santa Clausium!
    • 2007, Jason Lethcoe, Wishing Well, appendix p. ii:
      Stupidium: Exposure to this Element can cause very silly behavior.
    • 1997, Bryan Pfaffenberger, Official Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 book, p. 34:
      According to the FAQ, a site's coolness can be attributed to a trace element called coolium.
  3. Used to indicate the setting where a given activity is carried out: gymnasium, auditorium, stadium, colloquium, planetarium, podium, sanatorium. Words so formed often take "-a" for the plural.

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-ium n, genitive -ii

  1. Suffix used to form abstract nouns, sometimes denoting offices and groups. (May no longer be productive.)
    auspex - auspicium
    desidero - desiderium
    castellum (castle) - castilium (fortified city)
  2. (New Latin) Suffix appended to form names of chemical elements.