heavy metal


Definition of heavy metal 

1 : a metal of high specific gravity

2 : energetic and highly amplified electronic rock music having a hard beat Borrowing elements of everything from grunge to progressive rock, from gospel to heavy metal— David Okamoto

Examples of heavy metal in a Sentence

He listens to heavy metal. lead, gold, and other heavy metals

Recent Examples on the Web

Formed in 1968, Josephus foreshadowed heavy metal with the turgid riffs, brutal-but-sparse rhythms, and wildman vocals across their 1970 debut, Dead Man. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Houston proto-metal misfits Josefus make a rare trip to Chicago," 21 June 2018 In later years, their sound expanded to include electronica and heavy metal elements, creating even more taxonomic confusion. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Finding the Soundtrack to My Desert Life," 25 Apr. 2018 The 37-year old was the vocalist of a heavy metal band and claimed to be the founder and promoter of @ΨWorldMusicStudiosΨ and the goth-metal band, The Paranormal, according to the Denver Post. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Man who wore clown makeup with bladed gloves found guilty in deadly Colorado stabbing," 28 June 2018 Image Vinnie Paul, a drummer and a founder of the heavy metal band Pantera, which helped transform the genre in the 1990s, died on Friday at his home in Las Vegas. Mihir Zaveri, New York Times, "Vinnie Paul, Pantera Drummer and Heavy Metal Innovator, Is Dead at 54," 23 June 2018 Vinnie Paul, the drummer and a founding member of heavy metal band Pantera, died Friday at age 54. Gerrick Kennedy, latimes.com, "Vinnie Paul, drummer and co-founder of heavy-metal band Pantera, dies at 54," 23 June 2018 Vinnie Paul, the drummer and co-founder of iconic heavy metal band Pantera, has died, the music group announced on Facebook. Charles Ventura, USA TODAY, "Vinnie Paul, Pantera drummer and co-founder, dies at 54," 23 June 2018 The heavy metal band has Grammy nominations and even MTV awards to its resume. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "Look out eardrums: Here come Queensryche and Korn's Jonathan Davis: Also Playing," 1 May 2018 Dave King began as a singer for a heavy metal band called Fastway, then moved to fronting a milder hard rock band called Katmandu. Mel Shields, sacbee, "Irish rock, Latin sounds take the stage at casinos | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heavy metal.' 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 heavy metal

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heavy metal

Share heavy metal

Statistics for heavy metal

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heavy metal

The first known use of heavy metal was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heavy metal

heavy metal


English Language Learners Definition of heavy metal

: a type of loud rock music that has a strong beat

: a metal that is very dense and heavy

More from Merriam-Webster on heavy metal

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heavy metal

Comments on heavy metal

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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