Molybdenum is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42.
The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek molybdos, meaning lead.
The free element, which is a silverymetal, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element.
It readily forms hard, stable carbides, and for this reason it is often used in high-strength steel alloys.
Molybdenum does not occur as a free metal on Earth, but rather in various oxidation states in minerals. Industrially, molybdenum compounds are used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, as pigments and catalysts.