[kyoo-puh l, kyoo-pel]


a small, cuplike, porous container, usually made of bone ash, used in assaying, as for separating gold and silver from lead.
a receptacle or furnace bottom in which silver is refined.

verb (used with object), cu·peled, cu·pel·ing or (especially British) cu·pelled, cu·pel·ling.

to heat or refine in a cupel.

Origin of cupel

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin cūpella, equivalent to Latin cūp(a) tub + -ella diminutive suffix
Related formscu·pel·er [kyoo-puh-ler] /ˈkyu pə lər/, cu·pel·ler [kyoo-pel-er] /kyuˈpɛl ər/, nouncu·pel·la·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cupellation

Historical Examples of cupellation

British Dictionary definitions for cupellation



the process of recovering precious metals from lead by melting the alloy in a cupel and oxidizing the lead by means of an air blast
the manufacture of lead oxide by melting and oxidizing lead



a refractory pot in which gold or silver is refined
a small porous bowl made of bone ash in which gold and silver are recovered from a lead button during assaying

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled or US -pels, -peling or -peled

(tr) to refine (gold or silver) by means of cupellation
Derived Formscupeller, noun

Word Origin for cupel

C17: from French coupelle, diminutive of coupe cup
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