dead metal


  1. the movable articles, as tables, chairs, desks or cabinets, required for use or ornament in a house, office, or the like.
  2. fittings, apparatus, or necessary accessories for something.
  3. equipment for streets and other public areas, as lighting standards, signs, benches, or litter bins.
  4. Also called bearer, dead metal. Printing. pieces of wood or metal, less than type high, set in and about pages of type to fill them out and hold the type in place in a chase.

Origin of furniture

1520–30; < French fourniture, derivative of fournir to furnish
Related formsfur·ni·ture·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dead-metal


  1. the movable, generally functional, articles that equip a room, house, etc
  2. the equipment necessary for a ship, factory, etc
  3. printing lengths of wood, plastic, or metal, used in assembling formes to create the blank areas and to surround the type
  4. the wooden parts of a rifle
  5. obsolete the full armour, trappings, etc, for a man and horse
  6. the attitudes or characteristics that are typical of a person or thingthe furniture of the murderer's mind
  7. part of the furniture informal someone or something that is so long established in an environment as to be accepted as an integral part of ithe has been here so long that he is part of the furniture
  8. See door furniture, street furniture

Word Origin for furniture

C16: from French fourniture, from fournir to equip, furnish
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

Word Origin and History for dead-metal



1520s, "act of furnishing," from Middle French fourniture, from fournir "furnish" (see furnish). Sense of "chairs, tables, etc.; household stuff" (1570s) is unique to English; most other European languages derive their words for this from Latin mobile "movable."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper