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quicksilver

[kwik-sil-ver] /ˈkwɪkˌsɪl vər/
noun
1.
the metallic element mercury.
verb (used with object)
2.
to amalgamate (metal) with mercury.
Origin of quicksilver
1000
before 1000; Middle English qwyksilver, Old English cwicseolfor (translation Latin argentum vīvum) literally, living silver
Related forms
quicksilvery, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

quicksilver

/ˈkwɪkˌsɪlvə/
noun
1.
another name for mercury (sense 1)
adjective
2.
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
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Word Origin and History for quicksilver
n.

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
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29
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