Symbol, Chemistry.
  1. mercury.

Origin of Hg

< New Latin hydrargyrum, for Latin hydrargyrus (by analogy with aurum, argentum, etc.) < Greek hydrárgyros literally, liquid silver (hydr- hydr-1 + árgyros silver)


  1. High German.
  2. British. Home Guard.


  1. High German(def 1).
  2. His Grace; Her Grace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hg

Contemporary Examples of hg

Historical Examples of hg

British Dictionary definitions for hg


abbreviation for
  1. hectogram


the chemical symbol for
  1. mercury

Word Origin for Hg

from New Latin hydrargyrum


abbreviation for
  1. High German
  2. His (or Her) Grace
  3. (formerly, in Britain) Home Guard
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

hg in Medicine


  1. The symbol for the elementmercury
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

hg in Science


  1. The symbol for mercury.


  1. A silvery-white, dense, poisonous metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature and is used in thermometers, barometers, batteries, and pesticides. Atomic number 80; atomic weight 200.59; melting point -38.87°C; boiling point 356.58°C; specific gravity 13.546 (at 20°C); valence 1, 2. See Periodic Table.
Word History: Like a few other elements, mercury has a chemical symbol, Hg, that bears no resemblance to its name. This is because Hg is an abbreviation of the Latin name of the element, which was hydrargium. This word in turn was taken over from Greek, where it literally meant “water-silver.” With this name the Greeks were referring to the fact that mercury is a silvery liquid at room temperature, rather than a solid like other metals. Similarly, an older English name for this element is quicksilver, which means “living silver,” referring to its ability to move like a living thing. (The word quick used to mean “alive,” as in the Biblical phrase “the quick and the dead.”) The name mercury refers to the fact that the element flows about quickly: the name comes from the Roman god Mercury, who was the swift-footed messenger of the gods.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.