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or gun metal

[guhn-met-l] /ˈgʌnˌmɛt l/
any of various alloys or metallic substances with a dark gray or blackish color or finish, used for chains, belt buckles, etc.
Also called gunmetal gray. a dark gray with bluish or purplish tinge.
a bronze formerly much used for cannon.
an alloy of 88 percent copper, 10 percent tin, and 2 percent zinc, cast or machined for use in valves, gears, and other parts.
Origin of gunmetal
First recorded in 1535-45; gun1 + metal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gunmetal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Felix took from an inner pocket of his coat a gunmetal cigarcase.

  • In Fig. 36, a, a is the body of the apparatus, partly of gunmetal and partly of wood.

  • The whole should be of gunmetal, and, if the pipes to be used be of iron, screwed at the end.

    The Turkish Bath Robert Owen Allsop
  • The boat chocks are provided with gunmetal wheels, which run in transverse tracks sunk in the deck.

    An Unsinkable Titanic John Bernard Walker
  • The gyroscope is contained in a gunmetal case, and is driven by a jet of steam entering through the trunnions.

  • Beyond the reefs the sea was gunmetal under the stars, streaked with foam and shadow.

    The Sensitive Man Poul William Anderson
  • Then he swings around in his swivel chair and proceeds to size me up through them gunmetal gray eyes of his.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • Better go hungry than forego a gunmetal or the ninety-eight-cent one that the railroads—according to these watchmakers—are run by.

    The Trimmed Lamp

    O. Henry
  • The cellar was empty except for a large wooden tun or cask which reached almost to the ceiling, and a gunmetal hand pump.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate Freeman Wills Crofts
British Dictionary definitions for gunmetal


a type of bronze containing copper (88 per cent), tin (8–10 per cent), and zinc (2–4 per cent): used for parts that are subject to wear or to corrosion, esp by sea water
any of various dark grey metals used for toys, belt buckles, etc
  1. a dark grey colour with a purplish or bluish tinge
  2. (as adjective): gunmetal chiffon
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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