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base metal

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noun
  1. any metal other than a precious or noble metal, as copper, lead, zinc, or tin.Compare noble metal, precious metal.
  2. the principal metal of an alloy.
  3. the principal metal of a piece underlying a coating of another metal; core.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for base metal

base metal

noun
  1. any of certain common metals such as copper, lead, zinc, and tin, as distinct from the precious metals, gold, silver, and platinum
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012