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[zingk] /zɪŋk/
Chemistry. a ductile, bluish-white metallic element: used in making galvanized iron, brass, and other alloys, and as an element in voltaic cells. Symbol: Zn; atomic weight: 65.37; atomic number: 30; specific gravity: 7.14 at 20°C.
a piece of this metal used as an element in a voltaic cell.
verb (used with object), zincked or zinced
[zingkt] /zɪŋkt/ (Show IPA),
zincking or zincing
[zing-king] /ˈzɪŋ kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
to coat or cover with zinc.
Origin of zinc
1635-45; < German Zink, perhaps derivative of Zinke(n) prong, tine, from the spikelike form it takes in a furnace
Related forms
zincky, zincy, zinky, adjective
zincoid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for zinc
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The roof of the great porch of the kitchen-door was covered with zinc.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • The letters were then transferred to the zinc by pressure, so as to be printed from.

  • It so happened that on that day he was to fix the last sheets of zinc.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Bending over his bench, he was now artistically cutting out his zinc.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Then Gervaise understood that he fancied he was on a roof, laying down sheets of zinc.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for zinc


a brittle bluish-white metallic element that becomes coated with a corrosion-resistant layer in moist air and occurs chiefly in sphalerite and smithsonite. It is a constituent of several alloys, esp brass and nickel-silver, and is used in die-casting, galvanizing metals, and in battery electrodes. Symbol: Zn; atomic no: 30; atomic wt: 65.39; valency: 2; relative density: 7.133; melting pt: 419.58°C; boiling pt: 907°C
(informal) corrugated galvanized iron
Derived Forms
zincic, zincous, zincoid, adjective
zincky, zincy, zinky, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from German Zink, perhaps from Zinke prong, from its jagged appearance in the furnace
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 zinc

1650s, from German Zink, perhaps related to Zinke "prong, point;" said to have been used first by Paracelsus (c.1526) on analogy of the form of its crystals after smelting. Zinke is from Old High German zint "a point, jag," from Proto-Germanic *tindja "tine" (cf. Old Norse tindr "point, top, summit," Old English tind "prong, spike;" cf. tine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zinc in Medicine

zinc (zĭngk)
Symbol Zn
A metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but becomes malleable when heated. Atomic number 30; atomic weight 65.39; melting point 419.5°C; boiling point 907°C; specific gravity 7.133 (25°C); valence 2.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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zinc in Science
Symbol Zn
A shiny, bluish-white metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but is malleable when heated. It is used in alloys such as brass and bronze, as a coating for iron and steel, and in various household objects. Zinc is essential to human and animal growth. Atomic number 30; atomic weight 65.39; melting point 419.4°C; boiling point 907°C; specific gravity 7.133 (25°C); valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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