- any of a class of elementary substances, as gold, silver, or copper, all of which are crystalline when solid and many of which are characterized by opacity, ductility, conductivity, and a unique luster when freshly fractured.
- such a substance in its pure state, as distinguished from alloys.
- an element yielding positively charged ions in aqueous solutions of its salts.
- an alloy or mixture composed wholly or partly of such substances, as brass.
- an object made of metal.
- formative material; stuff.
- type metal.
- the state of being set in type.
- molten glass in the pot or melting tank.
- British. road metal.
- to furnish or cover with metal.
- British. to pave or surface (a road) with broken stone.
Origin of metal
Examples from the Web for metal
The taste of metal cutlery after years of plastic can also taste funny.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside
January 3, 2015
More fireworks followed the first, and the metal barriers rattled.Mexican Protesters Look to Start a New Revolution
November 21, 2014
Today the church is wrapped in scaffolding and metal ribbons are holding its façade in place until someone pays to repair it.Madonna, Carla Bruni & Obama Abandoned Pledges To Rebuild L'Aquila After The Quake
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 18, 2014
The cuts had been by accident by falling on a metal object after which he then washed the wound with the available water.Did Joran Van Der Sloot Fake His Prison Shanking?
Andrea Zarate, Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 5, 2014
Some were blatantly inferior, he said, at times with metal shavings and burrs in the threads.Patients Screwed in Spine Surgery ‘Scam’
The Center for Investigative Reporting
November 3, 2014
The writer further says the metal was made from silver coins.The Story of the Invention of Steel Pens
The words of the outlaw had struck something in him that was like metal chiming on metal.
Macdougal sat before the door, his metal flask of whisky beside him.
After a minute or two I took the metal match-box and tossed it on to his breast.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
Their superiority was greater in size and weight of metal than in numbers.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
- any of a number of chemical elements, such as iron or copper, that are often lustrous ductile solids, have basic oxides, form positive ions, and are good conductors of heat and electricity
- an alloy, such as brass or steel, containing one or more of these elements
- printing type made of metal
- the substance of glass in a molten state or as the finished product
- short for road metal
- informal short for heavy metal (def. 1)
- the total weight of projectiles that can be shot by a ship's guns at any one time
- the total weight or number of a ship's guns
- Also called: heavy element astronomy any element heavier than helium
- heraldry gold or silver
- (plural) the rails of a railway
- made of metal
- to fit or cover with metal
- to make or mend (a road) with road metal
Word Origin and History for metal
mid-13c., from Old French metal "metal; material, substance, stuff" (12c.), from Latin metallum "metal; mine, quarry, mineral, what is got by mining," from Greek metallon "metal, ore" (senses only in post-classical texts; originally "mine, quarry, pit"), probably from metalleuein "to mine, to quarry," of unknown origin, but related somehow to metallan "to seek after." Cf. Greek metalleutes "a miner," metalleia "a searching for metals, mining."
late 14c., from metal (n.).
- Any of a category of electropositive elements that usually reflect light, are generally good conductors of heat and electricity, and can be melted or fused, hammered into thin sheets, or drawn into wires. Typical metals form salts with nonmetals, basic oxides with oxygen, and alloys with one another.
- An alloy of two or more metallic elements.
- An object made of metal.
- Any of a large group of chemical elements, including iron, gold, copper, lead, and magnesium, that readily become cations and form ionic bonds, having relatively free valence electrons (electrons in the outer shells). Metals are generally good conductors of electricity because of the freedom of their valence electrons. Metals generally conduct heat well, and in solid form are relatively malleable and ductile compared to other solids. They are usually shiny and opaque. All metals except mercury are solid at room temperature.
- An alloy, such as steel or bronze, made of two or more metals.
- In astronomy, any atom except hydrogen and helium.
- Small stones or gravel, mixed with tar to form tarmac for the surfacing of roads.
Usage: Most metallic elements are lustrous or colorful solids that are good conductors of heat and electricity, and readily form ionic bonds with other elements. Many of their properties are due to the fact that their outermost electrons, called valence electrons, are not tightly bound to the nucleus. For instance, most metals form ionic bonds easily because they readily give up valence electrons to other atoms, thereby becoming positive ions (cations). The electrical conductivity of metals also stems from the relative freedom of valence electrons. In a substance composed of metals, the atoms are in a virtual sea of valence electrons that readily jump from atom to atom in the presence of an electric potential, creating electric current. With the exception of hydrogen, which behaves like a metal only at very high pressures, the elements that appear in the left-hand column of the Periodic Table are called alkali metals. Alkali metals, such as sodium and potassium, have only one electron in their outermost shell, and are chemically very reactive. (Hydrogen is exceptional in that, although it is highly reactive, its other metallic properties are manifest only at very high pressures.) Metals farther toward the right side of the Periodic Table, such as tin and lead, have more electrons in their outermost shell, and are not as reactive. The somewhat reactive elements that fall between the two extremes are the transition elements, such as iron, copper, tungsten, and silver. In most atoms, inner electron shells must be maximally occupied by electrons before an outer shell will accept electrons, but many transition elements have electron gaps in the shell just inside the valence shell. This configuration leads to a wide variety of available energy levels for electrons to move about in, so in the presence of electromagnetic radiation such as light, a variety of frequencies are readily emitted or absorbed. Thus transition metals tend to be very colorful, and each contributes different colors to different compounds.