• synonyms


[ zingk ]
/ zɪŋk /


Chemistry. a ductile, bluish-white metallic element: used in making galvanized iron, brass, and other alloys, and as an element in voltaic cells. Symbol: Zn; atomic weight: 65.37; atomic number: 30; specific gravity: 7.14 at 20°C.
a piece of this metal used as an element in a voltaic cell.

verb (used with object), zincked or zinced [zingkt] /zɪŋkt/, zinck·ing or zinc·ing [zing-king] /ˈzɪŋ kɪŋ/.

to coat or cover with zinc.


gold, metal, iron, platinum, mineral, lead, rock, silver, bronze, copper, blende, tin

Nearby words

zimbabwean, zimbalist, zimbalist, efrem, zimbalon, zimmer, zinc, zinc blende, zinc chloride, zinc green, zinc ointment, zinc oxide

Origin of zinc

1635–45; < German Zink, perhaps derivative of Zinke(n) prong, tine, from the spikelike form it takes in a furnace
Related formszinck·y, zinc·y, zink·y, adjectivezinc·oid, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zinc

British Dictionary definitions for zinc


/ (zɪŋk) /


a brittle bluish-white metallic element that becomes coated with a corrosion-resistant layer in moist air and occurs chiefly in sphalerite and smithsonite. It is a constituent of several alloys, esp brass and nickel-silver, and is used in die-casting, galvanizing metals, and in battery electrodes. Symbol: Zn; atomic no: 30; atomic wt: 65.39; valency: 2; relative density: 7.133; melting pt: 419.58°C; boiling pt: 907°C
informal corrugated galvanized iron
Derived Formszincic, zincous or zincoid, adjectivezincky, zincy or zinky, adjective

Word Origin for zinc

C17: from German Zink, perhaps from Zinke prong, from its jagged appearance in the furnace
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 zinc



1650s, from German Zink, perhaps related to Zinke "prong, point;" said to have been used first by Paracelsus (c.1526) on analogy of the form of its crystals after smelting. Zinke is from Old High German zint "a point, jag," from Proto-Germanic *tindja "tine" (cf. Old Norse tindr "point, top, summit," Old English tind "prong, spike;" cf. tine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for zinc


[ zĭngk ]

n. Symbol Zn

A metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but becomes malleable when heated and is used in various pharmaceuticals, including astringents and antiseptics. Atomic number 30.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for zinc


[ zĭngk ]


A shiny, bluish-white metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but is malleable when heated. It is used in alloys such as brass and bronze, as a coating for iron and steel, and in various household objects. Zinc is essential to human and animal growth. Atomic number 30; atomic weight 65.39; melting point 419.4°C; boiling point 907°C; specific gravity 7.133 (25°C); valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.