noun, plural mer·cu·ries.
Origin of mercury
Examples from the Web for mercury
He was demoted at the Mercury News, and left the paper in 1997.Jeremy Renner Opens Up About Marriage, His Problems with the Media, and the Future of Hawk-Eye|Marlow Stern|September 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
That means most of these planets orbit closer than Mercury does to the Sun.
Kutler, the Mercury lobbyist, accompanied Klyuyev in meetings he held in Washington last year, according to the piece.Ukraine’s D.C. Lobbyists in Disarray as Dictator Flees|Eli Lake|February 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He went so far as to have rivers of mercury set up in his tomb, along with his famous thousand-soldier strong Terracotta Army.This Exhibit Could Kill You: The Museum of Natural History Takes on Poison|William O’Connor|January 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Harry Belafonte told me I had mercury poisoning,” Simmons confided.
When thrown into vapor of mercury, boron phospho-di-iodide instantly takes fire.
A cubic inch of mercury at this temperature has been ascertained to weigh 0·48967 lbs.A Treatise on Meteorological Instruments|Henry Negretti
A furious wind threshed the earth; the mercury hovered about the zero mark.The Price of the Prairie|Margaret Hill McCarter
The day arrived, and before nine o'clock in the morning the mercury stood at ninety degrees in the shade.The Wit of Women|Kate Sanborn
Mercury is by it congealed to the consistency of iron; even alcohol, that can brave the utmost Arctic cold, succumbs to it.The Romance of Modern Invention|Archibald Williams
British Dictionary definitions for mercury (1 of 3)
noun plural -ries
Word Origin for mercury
British Dictionary definitions for mercury (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for mercury (3 of 3)
Word Origin and History for mercury (1 of 2)
"the Roman god Mercury," mid-12c., from Latin Mercurius "Mercury," originally a god of tradesmen and thieves, from merx "merchandise" (see market (n.)); or perhaps [Klein, Tucker] from Etruscan and influenced by merx. Later he was associated with Greek Hermes. The planet closest to the sun so called in classical Latin (late 14c. in English). A hypothetical inhabitant of the planet was a Mercurean (1855) or a Mercurian (1868). For the metallic element, see mercury.
Word Origin and History for mercury (1 of 2)
silver-white fluid metallic element, late 14c., from Medieval Latin mercurius, from Latin Mercurius (see Mercury). Prepared from cinnabar, it was one of the seven metals (bodies terrestrial) known to the ancients, which were coupled in astrology and alchemy with the seven known heavenly bodies. This one probably so associated for its mobility. The others were Sun/gold, Moon/silver, Mars/iron, Saturn/lead, Jupiter/tin, Venus/copper. The Greek name for it was hydrargyros "liquid silver," which gives the element its symbol, Hg. Cf. quicksilver.
Medicine definitions for mercury
n. Symbol Hg
Science definitions for mercury (1 of 2)
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.
Science definitions for mercury (2 of 2)
Culture definitions for mercury (1 of 3)
The Roman name of Hermes, the messenger of the Greek and Roman gods.
Culture definitions for mercury (2 of 3)
In astronomy, the planet closest to the sun, named after the fleet-footed messenger of the Roman gods (see under “Mythology and Folklore”) because of its swift movement in its orbit. Mercury takes only eighty-eight days to go around the sun. (See solar system.)
Culture definitions for mercury (3 of 3)
In chemistry, a heavy, silvery metallic element, a liquid at normal temperatures. Mercury expands or contracts rapidly in response to changes in temperature and therefore was once widely used in thermometers.