or gun met·al

[ guhn-met-l ]
/ ˈgʌnˌmɛt l /


any of various alloys or metallic substances with a dark gray or blackish color or finish, used for chains, belt buckles, etc.
Also called gunmetal gray. a dark gray with bluish or purplish tinge.
a bronze formerly much used for cannon.
an alloy of 88 percent copper, 10 percent tin, and 2 percent zinc, cast or machined for use in valves, gears, and other parts.

Nearby words

  1. gunk hole,
  2. gunky,
  3. gunlock,
  4. gunmaker,
  5. gunman,
  6. gunn,
  7. gunn effect,
  8. gunn's dot,
  9. gunn's sign,
  10. gunnar

Origin of gunmetal

First recorded in 1535–45; gun1 + metal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gun-metal

British Dictionary definitions for gun-metal


/ (ˈɡʌnˌmɛtəl) /


a type of bronze containing copper (88 per cent), tin (8–10 per cent), and zinc (2–4 per cent): used for parts that are subject to wear or to corrosion, esp by sea water
any of various dark grey metals used for toys, belt buckles, etc
  1. a dark grey colour with a purplish or bluish tinge
  2. (as adjective)gunmetal chiffon
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 gun-metal


commonly an alloy of copper and zinc; used attributively of a dull blue-gray color since 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper