Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kwik-sil-ver] /ˈkwɪkˌsɪl vər/
the metallic element mercury.
verb (used with object)
to amalgamate (metal) with mercury.
Origin of quicksilver
before 1000; Middle English qwyksilver, Old English cwicseolfor (translation Latin argentum vīvum) literally, living silver
Related forms
quicksilvery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for quicksilver
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have more names than one; but the name of quicksilver suits me as well as any other.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "And that would be a great pity," said quicksilver, with his mischievous smile.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • quicksilver looked at it with a smile, and nodded his approbation.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "They are three very strange old ladies," said quicksilver, laughing.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "I told you she would be the first to discover them," said quicksilver to Perseus.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for quicksilver


another name for mercury (sense 1)
rapid or unpredictable in movement or change: a quicksilver temper
Word Origin
Old English, from cwicu alive (see quick) + seolfer silver
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for quicksilver

Old English cwicseolfor, literally "living silver," translating Latin argentum vivum (cf. Italian argento vivo), literally "living silver;" so called from its liquid mobility. See quick (adj.) + silver (n.). Cf. Dutch kwikzilver, Old High German quecsilbar, German quecksilber, French vif-argent, Italian argenta viva.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for quicksilver

Word Value for quicksilver

Scrabble Words With Friends