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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj metal containing or made of or resembling or characteristic of a metal "a metallic compound","metallic luster","the strange metallic note of the meadow lark, suggesting the clash of vibrant blades"- Ambrose Bierce"
    • v metal cover with metal
    • n metal a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten "brass is an alloy of zinc and copper"
    • n metal any of several chemical elements that are usually shiny solids that conduct heat or electricity and can be formed into sheets etc.
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Pouring metal Pouring metal

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Due to the shortages of lead and metals during World War II, toothpaste was packaged in plastic tubes and have been ever since
    • Metal A mine from which ores are taken. "Slaves . . . and persons condemned to metals ."
    • Metal (Chem) An elementary substance, as sodium, calcium, or copper, whose oxide or hydroxide has basic rather than acid properties, as contrasted with the nonmetals, or metalloids. No sharp line can be drawn between the metals and nonmetals, and certain elements partake of both acid and basic qualities, as chromium, manganese, bismuth, etc.
    • Metal Courage; spirit; mettle. See Mettle.
    • Metal Glass in a state of fusion.
    • Metal Ore from which a metal is derived; -- so called by miners.
    • Metal The broken stone used in macadamizing roads and ballasting railroads.
    • Metal The effective power or caliber of guns carried by a vessel of war.
    • Metal The rails of a railroad.
    • Metal The substance of which anything is made; material; hence, constitutional disposition; character; temper. "Not till God make men of some other metal than earth."
    • v. t Metal To cover with metal; as, to metal a ship's bottom; to metal a road.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Because metal was scarce; the Oscars given out during World War II were made of plaster
    • n metal An elementary substance, or one which in the present state of chemical science is undecompos able, and which possesses opacity, luster of a peculiar kind (commonly called metallic, because very characteristic of the metals), conductivity for heat and electricity, and plasticity, or capability of being drawn, squeezed, or hammered with change of shape but no loss of continuity. Examples of metals possessing all these qualities, although in varying degree, are gold, silver, copper, iron, lead”, and tin, all of which have been known from remote antiquity; and on the characters which they possess the idea of a metal was, and mainly still is, founded. These metals also have a high specific gravity, the lightest of them (tin) being over seven times as dense as water. Of the prehistorically known metals, gold, silver, and copper occur more or less abundantly in the native or metallic form, and must have been noticed, and in all probability utilized, in the most remote antiquity, by various nations and over widely extended areas. Iron also occurs native, especially in the form of meteoric iron, and in this way may have first become known and utilized. But iron is now, and has been from time immemorial, smelted from its ores in countries which, from almost every other point of view than the metallurgical, might properly be regarded as uncivilized. The use of iron other than meteoric was not, however, known in the New World before the advent of Europeans. Tin and lead do not occur in the metallic form in nature, unless in very minute quantity; hence, where used, these metals must have been obtained by the metallurgic treatment of their ores. In the case of tin and zinc, as well as of other metals not occurring native, it was not until long after some knowledge had been attained in regard to the practical use of their ores, either by themselves or as ingredients in various alloys, that any accurate idea was obtained of the metals themselves. Thus, brass was certainly made long before anything definite had been learned in regard to the metal zinc, and it is not at all unlikely that the same was the case with bronze and one of its constituents, tin. In addition to the six metals already mentioned, quicksilver was known to the Greeks and Romans in classical times; and this metal also occurs not infrequently in the metallic form, so that its early discovery is not a matter to excite surprise. The anomalous occurrence of quicksilver as a liquid at the ordinary temperature was the reason why neither Pliny nor Isidore nor Geber included it among the metals; nor was it so included by writers on chemistry and metallurgy until after it had been discovered that this fiuid could be frozen at a not very low temperature, and that when frozen it was malleable. It was not until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that antimony, bismuth, and zinc became known; but their ores had long been in use, although, in the case of the two former metals, only to a very limited extent. The discovery of these metals considerably enlarged the scope of the word metallic, since it became necessary to admit that metals could be brittle; this was still further exemplified in the case of the metal arsenic, discovered in 1694 (its oxidized combinations had long been known and utilized), which, although having a metallic luster, is decidedly brittle. This brittleness of substances otherwise metallic in appearance led to their being placed in a class by themselves as “semi-metals,” the idea that malleability was a necessary attribute of a metal having come down from the Arabian chemists, and maintaining its hold for many centuries. About the middle and in the latter half of the eighteenth century the number of known metals was greatly increased. In 1741 platina was discovered, but the metals which are always associated with it—osmium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, etc.—were not detected until much later. At about the same time as platina, nickel and cobalt were recognized as elements—that is, were first separated and distinguished from their ores, which had been long known and (in the case of cobalt, at least) utilized to a limited extent. Toward the end of the eighteenth century manganese, molybdena, tellurium, uranium, titanium, and chromium became known. About the beginning of the nineteenth century several of the metals of the platina family—palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium—were separated from the complex alloy known as native platina. Up to this time all the known substances to which the name metal was applied were much heavier than water, and also decidedly heavier than those considered as non-metallic. Hence, as the old and long-prevailing idea that all metals were malleable had been done away with, a high specific gravity began to be considered as their most important characteristic. Thus we find Cronstedt, who was one of the earliest systematic writers on mineralogy (the first edition of his work was published in 1758), defining metals as “those mineral bodies which with respect to their volume are the heaviest of all hitherto known bodies.” With the discovery, by Davy, in 1807, of the metallic nature of the bases of the alkalis a great change took place in this respect, for these substances, metallic from many points of view, especially with reference to their chemical affinities, are lighter than water, and at first, on this account, were by some chemists not admitted to rank as metals. The discovery of the metallic bases of the alkalis was followed by that of the bases of the earths—calcium, barium, and strontium, 1807; zirconium, 1824; aluminium, glucinium, and yttrium, 1828. These metals are all light as compared with the older metals, but heavy in comparison with the metallic bases of the alkalis, the lightest of which—lithium, discovered in 1818—has only a little more than half the specific gravity of water. Cadmium, another heavy metal associated with zinc in its mode of occurrence, and of some importance in the arts, was also separated from its oxid in 1818. Many metals have been discovered within the past few years, all of great interest from the scientific point of view, but no one of them of economical importance, or occurring in sufficient-quantity to be utilized to any extent even if possessing valuable properties. So doubtful and difficult are the chemical reactions of some of these elements that their exact number cannot be stated. Several have been worked over by chemists for years without any definite conclusion having been reached; several, after having been accepted for a while, have been dropped from the list. There are about seventy generally recognized elements (see element), although some three or four of these may still be considered as more or less doubtful. Of the seventy thirteen are decidedly non-metallic; these are sulphur, phosphorus, fluorin, chlorin, iodine, bromine, silicon, boron, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and selenium; all the other elements are considered to be metals, and selenium was formerly generally so considered, but latterly it has been decidedly included among the non-metals, and the name has been changed by some to selenion, to make it correspond with carbon, boron, and silicon, with which elements it is to a certain extent chemically affiliated. Tellurium, on the other hand, although closely related chemically to sulphur and selenium, has always been classed among the metals, chiefly because, although brittle, it has a decided metallic luster. The names of the metals, so far as is possible, all end in -um; even platina is frequently written platinum. A division of the elements into metals and non-metals is recognized by chemists at the present time as being rather a matter of convenience from the popular point of view than as one capable of exact scientific definition. The words metallic and metal, however, cannot be dispensed with in common life and the arts, and their use can very rarely lead to any confusion. The exceptions to this general statement that the metals have a “metallic” luster, and that the non-metals do not, are, on the whole, extremely insignificant. Only in the case of selenium and phosphorus in certain of their allotropic forms could there be any question as to whether the term metallic luster could properly be used with reference to a non-metal.
    • n metal In printing and type-founding See type-metal.
    • n metal The material of glass, pottery, etc., in a state of fusion.
    • n metal plural The rails of a railway.
    • n metal In heraldry, one of the two tinctures or and argent—that is, gold and silver.
    • n metal Materials for roads; especially, the broken stones used as ballasting on a road-bed or railway.
    • n metal The aggregate number, mass, or effective power of the guns carried by a ship of war.
    • n metal That of which anything is composed; formative material; hence, constitution; intrinsic quality, as of a person.
    • n metal Courage; spirit; mettle. In this sense now always mettle.
    • n metal A mine.
    • n metal See blue.
    • metal To put metal on; cover, as roads, with broken stones or metal.
    • metal An abbreviation of metallurgy.
    • n metal In mining:
    • n metal Cast-iron.
    • n metal Hard rock; whin or igneous rock.
    • n metal plural A general name for coal-bearing strata.
    • n metal A metallic alloy used for the production, by casting in iron or brass molds, of cheap ornamental articles to be electroplated, usually consisting of lead and tin hardened by antimony, with occasional addition of other metals.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Copper is the second most used metal in the world.
    • n Metal met′al an opaque substance, possessing a peculiar lustre, fusibility, conductivity for heat and electricity, &c., such as gold, &c.: courage or spirit (now spelt mettle): intrinsic quality: the number and power of guns carried by a ship-of-war: broken stones used for macadamised roads:
    • v.t Metal to put metal on, as a road
    • n Metal met′al (pl.) the rails of a railroad
    • ***


  • Lord Byron
    “Constancy... that small change of love, which people exact so rigidly, receive in such counterfeit coin, and repay in baser metal.”
  • Billy Joel
    Billy Joel
    “A typical day in the life of a heavy metal musician consists of a round of golf and an AA meeting.”
  • Voltaire
    “Shun idleness is the rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.”
  • William Wycherley
    William Wycherley
    “I weigh the man, not his title; 'tis not the king's stamp can make the metal better.”
  • Sir William Osler
    “Work is the open sesame of every portal, the great equalizer in the world, the true philosopher's stone which transmutes all the base metal of humanity into gold.”


Put the pedal to the metal - If you put the pedal to the metal, you go faster.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. métal, L. metallum, metal, mine, Gr. mine; cf. Gr. to search after. Cf. Mettle Medal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. metallum—Gr. metallon, a mine, a metal.


In literature:

He drew the suit up over the clothes he wore and closed the front with one pull of a metal tab.
"The Finding of Haldgren" by Charles Willard Diffin
The inside of the pipe had zigzagging rings of metal, conveniently spaced for easy climbing.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930" by Various
Metal, he thought, he must find metal.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931" by Various
He was dragged to a metal plate set upright in the wall, and secured to it by straps of metal.
"The Red Hell of Jupiter" by Paul Ernst
One incessant hail of metal.
"How I Filmed the War" by Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins
Chet must have missed it by inches, Harkness knew; but he knew, too, that the impact he felt was no shattering of metal upon metal.
"Astounding Stories, May, 1931" by Various
Name the metallic substances.
"A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition)" by Calvin Cutter
The Chiriquians, like many of their neighbors in the tropical portions of the American continent, were skilled in the working of metals.
"Ancient art of the province of Chiriqui, Colombia" by William Henry Holmes
Zinc is like all the rest of the metals in one way.
"Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son" by John Mills
Then Sir Basil opened a metal door and gently eased out a human body.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930" by Various
There came a ripping crash, the splintering of metal and wood.
"The People of the Crater" by Andrew North
Prof. Maskelyne, of the British Museum, seems to be particularly gratified by the fall of a metallic meteorite in England.
"The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877" by Various
The corporal gunner was sitting on the metal seat in front of his instruments and not ten inches to the left of the breech.
""And they thought we wouldn't fight"" by Floyd Gibbons
The thing was made of a lustrous, silvery metal, which Dan afterwards supposed to be aluminum, or some alloy of that metal.
"Astounding Stories, July, 1931" by Various
The metal can be obtained by various processes.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3" by Various
Then, in the midst of the operation, there was a metallic clang from where Sing stood guard.
"The Caves of Fear" by John Blaine
A skull of metallic gold.
"The Golden Skull" by John Blaine
I have called it The International and Consolidated Old Metal Corporation.
"Dick Hamilton's Fortune" by Howard R. Garis
Chet turned at last to face Schwartzmann and his pilot where they had clung helplessly to a metal stanchion.
"Brood of the Dark Moon" by Charles Willard Diffin
Metals may be rapidly colored by covering their surfaces with a thin layer of sulphuric acid.
"Paper and Printing Recipes" by J. Sawtelle Ford

In poetry:

The heart like wishes or free
Peacocks blessing
Old ground with a feather
Beaten in starry metals.
Your small
"Balloons" by Sylvia Plath
Then commanding to all women
Chastity, her breasts she laid
Bare unto the self-avenger.
Man in metal was the blade.
"A Preaching From A Spanish Ballad" by George Meredith
Around her, plates of metal, smote
And beat upon by clutch and strain,
Take shape beneath the grasp of thought—
The mute Napoleon of the brain.
"A Blackbird's Nest" by Alexander Anderson
Save a voiceless wail, save a cry of woe,
That burst forth in fitful throbbing--
A bullet had pierced its metal through,
For the Dead the wounded was sobbing!
"The Trumpet Of Gravelotte" by Hermann Ferdinand Freiligrath
The smooth sea-line
With a metal shine,
And flashes of white, and a sail thereon,
He would also descry
With a half-wrapt eye
Between the projects he mused upon.
"Self- Unconscious" by Thomas Hardy
When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.
"What Fifty Said.." by Robert Frost

In news:

The metal detector used reacted to metal 1 inch to at least 2 feet down.
Kerska's metal detector also constantly showed the existence of metal under the athletic fields.
Chicago Metallic Offers Visual Continuity From Interior Spaces To Exterior Soffits With Linear Metal Ceiling Systems.
More waste added to the polluted waterway: Benson Scrap Metal, just off the edge of the Gowanus Canal, allegedly dumped heaps of metallic waste into the notoriously polluted waterway.
Their style had metal overtones but was much slower - some people say sludgy - than traditional metal.
Almost 16,800 adverse events associated with metal-on-metal hip implants were reported in the US from 2000-2011, regulators said.
Tarco Steel and Metal Fab will be renamed Tarco Steel, a division of Bushwick Metals LLC.
These 28 people seated on the Stretched Skin Metal Wings of the Two-Place 65 Hp, All-Metal Silvaire, weighed a total of 3,500 pounds. US Drug Watchdog Now Offers To Help All DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Recipients Get The Names Of The Best Law Firms And Offers Symptoms Of A Metal On Metal Hip Failure.
Written off in the '90s as yet another relic of the original heavy-metal era, Iron Maiden found new life and relevance when metal made a huge comeback in the new millennium.
Check out Full Metal Jackie tonight as she is joined by the metal god known as Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
Corsicana — An 18-wheeler hauling scrap metal turning on to Highway 31 from the FM 2555 detour lost its load Wednesday afternoon, spilling junk metal and old cars onto the side of the road.
Metal makers and companies in the metal-forming industry employ thousands of people in Wisconsin.
Non-Precious Metals & Non- Metallic Mining, Metals & Mining Stocks.
In trading on Friday, non-precious metals & non- metallic mining shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 3.

In science:

The mass of metals in the ICP plasma is easily evaluated from the total amount of ICP baryons (measured to be ∼5 times larger than the mass in galactic stars) and from their average metallicity, ∼40% solar.
High-Redshift Galaxies: The Far-Infrared and Sub-Millimeter View
Noting that the result on the slope is based on the assumption that the metallicity of the RGB in M33 is the same as that of the RC, determination of the metallicity of the RC is needed to confirm it.
Determination of the Distance to M33 Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch and the Red Clump
The calculated LSDA band structure of (Ga,Mn)As (in figure 1) is that of an half-metal with metallicity in the ma jority spin band.
Self-interaction effects in (Ga,Mn)As and (Ga,Mn)N
Considered separately, the metal-poor and metal-rich GC subsystems showed some evidence for weak tangential and radial biases, respectively.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
With the color-metallicity calibration of Geisler & Forte (1990), this color range translates to a metallicity interval of −2.15 <∼ [Fe/H] <∼ +0.8 dex.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
According to the color-metallicity relation of Geisler & Forte (1990), this dividing point corresponds to a metallicity of [Fe/H] = −0.68 dex.8 The upper right panel of Figure 2 shows a radial velocity histogram for the same sample of 276 ob jects.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
Metal-poor GCs are indicated by circles, and metal-rich GCs by squares.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
The global velocity dispersion of the entire GC system, σp,r = 312 km s−1, is naturally intermediate to these values; it falls somewhat closer to the metal-poor value because that sample is ∼ 50% larger than the metal-rich one.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
Figure 5 is a plot of individual GC velocities versus pro jected galactocentric radii, for the entire sample regardless of color and for the metal-poor and metal-rich subsamples separately.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
Figure 8, which presents the results for our full sample of 263 GCs, is included primarily for completeness, as it is somewhat more profitable to consider the metal-poor and metal-rich subsamples separately.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
Finally, we plot in Figure 12 the absolute value of the ratio of rotation amplitude to velocity dispersion as a function of radius in the full GC system, the metal-poor subsystem, and the metal-rich sample.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
We wish also to model the dynamics of the metal-poor and metal-rich GC subsystems separately.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
Finally, we construct dynamical models for the metal-poor and metal-rich GC subsystems separately.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
The ratio of the number of metal poor to metal rich GCs is very nearly the same in both galaxies.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
For instance, the metal-poor and metal-rich subsystems in M87 share an essentially identical pro jected velocity dispersion, while in M49, the metal-rich GC sample appears to be significantly colder than the metal-poor component.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter