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Word of the Day
Sunday, August 17, 2003

Definitions for amalgam

  1. An alloy of mercury with another metal or metals; used especially (with silver) as a dental filling.
  2. A mixture or compound of different things.

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Citations for amalgam
In that year, Zola struck back at the novelist and critic Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, that curious amalgam of religious conservative and blasphemous melodramatist -- Zola called him a"hysterical Catholic" -- whom he had long detested for his superior bearing and his unfortunate sallies against writers Zola admired. Gary B. Nash, History on Trial
The so-called "protest" literature of the thirties was often an amalgam of the private rebellion of youth with social revolt. Nona Balakian, The World of William Saroyan
Origin of amalgam
late Middle English
Amalgam comes from Old French amalgame, from Medieval Latin amalgama, probably from Greek malagma, "emollient," from malassein, "to soften," from malakos, "soft."