al·​loy | \ ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) also ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \

Definition of alloy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals : fineness
2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components
3a : an admixture that lessens value
b : an impairing alien element
4 : a compound, mixture, or union of different things an ethnic alloy of many peoples
5 archaic : a metal mixed with a more valuable metal to give durability or some other desired quality


al·​loy | \ ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) also ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \
alloyed; alloying; alloys

Definition of alloy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to impair or debase by admixture
2 : to reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable metal
3 : to mix so as to form an alloy

intransitive verb

: to lend itself to being alloyed iron alloys well

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of alloy in a Sentence

Noun testing the properties of various alloys a part made of aluminum alloy
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This sense of propriety, this melding of two old cultures, the fear of shame and certain knowledge that a family’s name, its honor, aren’t just about words, have been forged in her like some alloy of steel. John Kass,, "Column: For all the mothers, on this Mother’s Day," 8 May 2021 To shave weight, and help achieve a targeted 30-knot-plus top speed, the hull and superstructure will be made of Alustar aluminum, a super-strong, high-tensile alloy. Howard Walker, Robb Report, "Boat of the Week: This 171-Foot Super-Luxe Sportfishing Yacht Is the Largest in the World," 7 May 2021 Antimony today is mostly obtained from the mining of stibnite, an alloy made up of antimony and Sulphur, and the vast majority of stibnite mining currently takes place in China. David Blackmon, Forbes, "Opposition To U.S. Mineral Mining Could Derail The Green New Deal," 26 Apr. 2021 The Trance Advanced Pro 29 frames are almost entirely carbon fiber composite, save an alloy lower link, and claim to weigh in at a mere 2,100 grams—shock included. Zach White, Outside Online, "Giant’s Trance X 29 Hits the Sweet Spot," 23 Apr. 2021 Heavy Metal – Finished with a scratch-resistant alloy surface to match even the most pristine vehicle interiors. Maren Estrada, BGR, "10 cheap gadgets on Amazon you’ll wish you had all along," 25 Mar. 2021 But Hartley made a good case for gold and Omega’s particular Sedna version, which is an 18-karat rose gold alloy that blends gold, copper and palladium for a longer-lasting reddish hue, looks elegant without stepping into flashy territory. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, "‘This Is Us’ Star Justin Hartley Wore a $35,000 Gold Omega Moonwatch to the Critics’ Choice Awards," 8 Mar. 2021 The light stand is constructed from aluminum alloy, giving it exceptional strength. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Ring Light," 13 Apr. 2021 This remarkable debut novel — already chosen by Mindy Kaling for an upcoming TV series — melts down striving immigrant tales, Old West mythology and even madcap thrillers to produce an invaluable new alloy of American literature. Washington Post, "Sanjena Sathian’s ‘Gold Diggers’ is a witty social satire with a dash of magic," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Steel receivers are easy to drill and tap, alloy receivers, not so much. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "How to Build the Ultimate Turkey Shotgun," 23 Mar. 2021 Made of alloy steel with a black heat-resistant coating, this pit is rust- and weather-proof. Christine Persaud, USA TODAY, "There's a hot deal happening on Amazon's No. 1 best-selling fire pit today," 11 Mar. 2021 To obtain these maximum speeds, manufacturers may use alloy pellets that weigh less than their lead counterparts and, in turn, move much faster. Joseph Albanese, Field & Stream, "How to Buy the Best Air Gun for Your Needs," 2 Mar. 2021 Look for sturdy, alloy frames that are large enough to allow two-handed sawing. The Editors, Field & Stream, "How to Choose The Right Bow Saw," 14 Aug. 2019 The N-Line also comes with N sport seats, alloy pedals, and other special touches. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "201-HP 2021 Hyundai Elantra N-Line Looks More Edgy, Has a Manual Transmission," 12 Aug. 2020 The only option package adds antilock brakes and alloy wheels for $1000 (our test car had that package). Steve Spence, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1997 Honda CR-V Launches Honda into the SUV Race," 9 June 2020 Tungsten is normally brittle, so procedures to mechanically process it to increase its strength and to alloy it with other materials to prevent its embrittlement from radiation damage are being studied. Giulia Pacchioni, Scientific American, "The Road to Fusion," 26 Aug. 2019 Automakers are making nearly continuous improvements to vehicle engines and structures by alloying their steels with an evolving list of special ingredients such as manganese, titanium, chromium, and nickel. Bengt Halvorson, Car and Driver, "Toyota’s New Electric Motor Cuts Need for Costly (and Overwhelmingly China-Sourced) Rare-Earth Metal," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alloy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of alloy


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1625, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for alloy


French aloi, from Old French alei, from aleir to combine, from Latin alligare to bind — more at ally

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alloy

Statistics for alloy

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alloy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alloy



English Language Learners Definition of alloy

: a metal made by melting and mixing two or more metals or a metal and another material together


al·​loy | \ ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ə-ˈlȯi \

Kids Definition of alloy

: a substance made of two or more metals melted together Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.


al·​loy | \ ˈal-ˌȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \

Medical Definition of alloy

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals
2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components

Other Words from alloy

alloy \ ə-​ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ˈal-​ˌȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \ transitive verb

Comments on alloy

What made you want to look up alloy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!