A silver white metallic element of a flaky nature, extremely brittle, occurring in nature free or combined, symbol Sb. → Atomic number 51; → atomic weight 121.75; → meting point 630.74°C; → boiling point 1,750°C; → specific gravity (metallic form) 6.69 at 20°C. Antimony is recognized in compounds from antiquity, and as a metal since the 17th century. The minerals stibnite (Sb2S3) and stibine (SbH3) are two of a multitude of mineral species which were known in the ancient world. Antimony is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. It greatly increases the hardness of metals with which it makes → alloys. Its various unstable isotopes have a half-life of 16 min (Sb120) to 2.7 years (Sb125).
From M.E. antimonie, from M.L. antimonium, an alchemist's term, of obscure origin, maybe a Latinization of Gk. stimmi or stibi, probably ultimately from Egyptian stm "cosmetic powder" used to paint the eyelids. The chemical symbol, Sb, comes from the original name, stibium, which is derived from Gk. stibi for "mark," since it was used for blackening eyebrows and eyelashes. The name was changed from stibium to antimonium to antimony.
Ântimuân, loan from Fr. antimoine.