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base metal

any metal other than a precious or noble metal, as copper, lead, zinc, or tin.
the principal metal of an alloy.
the principal metal of a piece underlying a coating of another metal; core. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for base metal
Historical Examples
  • Her talisman was of base metal, the one cheap thing she wore, yet real.

    The Bright Messenger Algernon Blackwood
  • If the quartz be clean, and the gold unmixed with base metal, the difficulty is small.

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
  • A pair of scales for weighing ore and buttons of base metal.

    The A B C of Mining Charles A. Bramble
  • All this cry about base metal is "a dodge" to frighten the timid.

  • A franc is most likely too hard; it has base metal to alloy it.

  • He knows what is bad, and with him base metal is never offered us for gold.

  • base metal though it were, it seemed pure gold to his listeners.

    The Red Mouse William Hamilton Osborne
  • It is base metal from the devil's mint, and is worthless in God's sight.

    Practical Religion

    John Charles Ryle
  • You ring a choice few of these on the counter and prove them base metal.

    Adventures in Criticism

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • There was alloy, base metal of course, even in the greatest of the three.

    1492 Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for base metal

base metal

any of certain common metals such as copper, lead, zinc, and tin, as distinct from the precious metals, gold, silver, and platinum
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
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