- Chemistry. a hard, silvery-white, ductile and malleable metallic element, allied to iron and cobalt, not readily oxidized: used chiefly in alloys, in electroplating, and as a catalyst in organic synthesis. Symbol: Ni; atomic weight: 58.71; atomic number: 28; specific gravity: 8.9 at 20°C.
- a cupronickel coin of the U.S., the 20th part of a dollar, equal to five cents.
- a nickel coin of Canada, the 20th part of a dollar, equal to five cents.
- to cover or coat with nickel; nickel-plate.
- Slang. costing or worth five dollars: a nickel bag of heroin.
Origin of nickel
Examples from the Web for nickel
I was already over forty, had hardly a nickel in my pocket and this was the biggest break in my life.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
Back then, when you made a movie that lost money, you lost every nickel.The Director Isn’t Done Yet: An Interview With Steven Soderbergh
August 1, 2014
When the popsicle man came around, my mother gave me a nickel.James Lee Burke Talks About His Fiction, History, and the American Dream
July 20, 2014
In them days, you could get two loaves of bread for a nickel.Stanley Booth on the Life and Hard Times of Blues Genius Furry Lewis
June 7, 2014
For every dollar of wealth owned by white folks in the United States today, black folks on average own less than a nickel.Eight Things Every White Person Should Know About White Privilege
May 7, 2014
So I bought this nickel one, an' carted t'other off into the attic. 'Tiverton Tales
Five cents, a nickel, a half-a-dime, the twentiethpotofadollah!The Gentleman From Indiana
"Some greeny that wants a nickel's worth of beans, I suppose," said one.The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys
The driver meanwhile searched his pockets in vain for a nickel.
When he came back she slipped a nickel upon the arm of his chair.The Wall Street Girl
Frederick Orin Bartlett
- a malleable ductile silvery-white metallic element that is strong and corrosion-resistant, occurring principally in pentlandite and niccolite: used in alloys, esp in toughening steel, in electroplating, and as a catalyst in organic synthesis. Symbol: Ni; atomic no: 28; atomic wt: 58.6934; valency: 0, 1, 2, or 3; relative density: 8.902; melting pt: 1455°C; boiling pt: 2914°C
- a US and Canadian coin and monetary unit worth five cents
- (tr) to plate with nickel
Word Origin and History for nickel
whitish metal element, 1755, coined in 1754 by Swedish mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt (1722-1765) from shortening of Swedish kopparnickel "copper-colored ore" (from which it was first obtained), a half-translation of German Kupfernickel, literally "copper demon," from Kupfer (see copper) + Nickel "demon, goblin, rascal" (a pet form of masc. proper name Nikolaus, cf. English Old Nick "the devil;" see Nicholas); the ore so called by miners because it looked like copper but yielded none.
Meaning "coin made partly of nickel" is from 1857, when the U.S. introduced one-cent coins made of nickel to replace the old bulky copper pennies. Application to five-cent piece (originally one part nickel, three parts copper) is from 1883, American English; in earlier circulation there were silver half-dimes. To nickel-and-dime (someone) is from 1964 (nickels and dimes "very small amounts of money" is attested from 1893).
- A silvery hard ductile metallic element used in alloys and in corrosion-resistant surfaces. Atomic number 28.
- A silvery, hard, ductile metallic element that occurs in ores along with iron or magnesium. It resists oxidation and corrosion and is used to make alloys such as stainless steel. It is also used as a coating for other metals. Atomic number 28; atomic weight 58.69; melting point 1,453°C; boiling point 2,732°C; specific gravity 8.902; valence 0, 1, 2, 3. See Periodic Table.