n. & v.
1. Chem. a malleable ductile silver-white metallic transition element, occurring naturally in various minerals and used in special steels, in magnetic alloys, and as a catalyst.
2 colloq. a US five-cent coin.
--v.tr. (nickelled, nickelling; US nickeled, nickeling) coat with nickel.
Phrases and idioms:
nickel brass an alloy of copper, zinc, and a small amount of nickel. nickel-plated coated with nickel by plating. nickel silver German silver. nickel steel a type of stainless steel with chromium and nickel.
nickelic adj. nickelous adj.
Etymology: abbr. of G Kupfernickel copper-coloured ore, from which nickel was first obtained, f. Kupfer copper + Nickel demon, with ref. to the ore's failure to yield copper