[steel] n [ME stele, fr. OE style, stele; akin to OHG stahal steel and perh. to Skt stakati he resists] (bef. 12c) 1: commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent as an essential alloying constituent, is malleable when under suitable conditions, and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content
2: an instrument or implement of or characteristically of steel: as a: a thrusting or cutting weapon b: an instrument (as a fluted round rod with a handle) for sharpening knives c: a piece of steel for striking sparks from flint
3: a quality (as hardness of mind or spirit) that suggests steel "nerves of ~"
4. a: the steel manufacturing industry b pl: shares of stock in steel companies
steel vt (13c) 1: to overlay, point, or edge with steel
2. a: to cause to resemble steel (as in looks or hardness) b: to fill with resolution or determination steel adj (13c) 1: made of steel
2: of or relating to the production of steel
3: resembling steel