Meaning of METAL in English


I. ˈmed. ə l, -et ə l noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French metal, metail, from Latin metallum metal, mine, from Greek metallon mine (later, metal); probably akin to Greek metallan to search after, inquire about


a. : any of a large group of substances (as gold, bronze, steel) that typically show a characteristic luster, are good conductors of electricity and heat, are opaque, can be fused, and are usually malleable or ductile — compare alloy

b. : any such substance without reference to special character

a piece of metal

c. : one of more than three fourths of the known chemical elements that exhibit typical metallic properties and that except for rubidium, cesium, gallium, and mercury are crystalline solids at or near room temperature : an element that in general is characterized chemically by the ability to form cations by loss of one or more electrons from each atom and to form basic oxides and hydroxides — compare metalloid 2b

2. : something that is made of metal: as

a. : sword

draw this metal from my side — Shakespeare


(1) : the barrel of a gun ; specifically : the surface of the barrel between the two sights

(2) : the aggregate mass or power of guns or armament

the British ship, more than twice as powerful in men and metal , struck her colors — Edward Breck

c. metals plural , Britain : the rails of a railroad

a night train roared along the metals — Rudyard Kipling

one coach … had left the metals — F.A.Swinnerton

3. : either of the heraldic tinctures or and argent

4. : mettle

showed his metal in dealing with such austere diplomats — Claude Pepper

5. : the material usually earthy substance out of which a person or thing is made

here's metal more attractive — Shakespeare

the metal of which American character has been built — F.D.Roosevelt


a. : the basic material of glass ; especially : glass in its molten state

b. : the regulus in copper smelting containing about 60 percent of copper — called also blue metal


a. : ore from which a metal is derived

b. : country rock as distinguished from coal — used especially in coal mining


a. : a specific metallic alloy used in an art or trade

roofer's metal of the cheapest kind


(1) : printing type metal

metal rule is softer than brass rule

(2) : set type matter

the book is now in metal

alterations made in the metal

9. Britain : road metal

II. transitive verb

( metaled or metalled ; metaled or metalled ; metaling or metalling ˈmed. ə liŋ, -et( ə )l- ; metals )

1. : to cover or furnish with metal

metal a ship's bottom

2. Britain : to provide with road metal:

a. : macadamize , hard-surface

a bright metaled road — Laurence Irving

b. : ballast 4a

III. abbreviation

metallurgical; metallurgy

IV. noun

Usage: often attributive

: heavy metal herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.