[ noun al-oi, uh-loi; verb uh-loi ]
See synonyms for: alloyalloyed on

  1. a substance composed of two or more metals, or of a metal or metals with a nonmetal, intimately mixed, as by fusion or electrodeposition.

  2. a less costly metal mixed with a more valuable one.

  1. admixture, as of good with evil.

  2. anything added that serves to reduce quality or purity.

verb (used with object)
  1. to mix (metals or metal with nonmetal) so as to form an alloy.

  2. to reduce in value by an admixture of a less costly metal.

  1. to debase, impair, or reduce by admixture; adulterate.

Origin of alloy

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Middle French aloi, Old French alei, noun derivative of aleier “to combine,” from Latin alligāre “to bind up,” equivalent to al- “toward” (see al-) + ligāre “to bind” (see ally, ligament); replacing earlier allay, Middle English, from Anglo-French allai

Other words for alloy

Other words from alloy

  • un·al·loyed, adjective

Words that may be confused with alloy

Words Nearby alloy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use alloy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alloy


noun(ˈælɔɪ, əˈlɔɪ)
  1. a metallic material, such as steel, brass, or bronze, consisting of a mixture of two or more metals or of metallic elements with nonmetallic elements. Alloys often have physical properties markedly different from those of the pure metals

  2. something that impairs the quality or reduces the value of the thing to which it is added

verb(əˈlɔɪ) (tr)
  1. to add (one metal or element to another metal or element) to obtain a substance with a desired property

  2. to debase (a pure substance) by mixing with an inferior element

  1. to diminish or impair

Origin of alloy

C16: from Old French aloi a mixture, from aloier to combine, from Latin alligāre, from ligāre to bind

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

Scientific definitions for alloy


[ ăloi′ ]

  1. A metallic substance made by mixing and fusing two or more metals, or a metal and a nonmetal, to obtain desirable qualities such as hardness, lightness, and strength. Brass, bronze, and steel are all alloys.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for alloy


[ (al-oy, uh-loy) ]

A material made of two or more metals, or of a metal and another material. For example, brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Alloys often have unexpected characteristics. In the examples given above, brass is stronger than either copper or zinc, and steel is stronger than either iron or carbon.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.