mercury

noun
mer·cu·ry | \ ˈmər-kyə-rē , -k(ə-)rē \
plural mercuries

Definition of mercury 

1a capitalized : a Roman god of commerce, eloquence, travel, cunning, and theft who serves as messenger to the other gods — compare hermes

b often capitalized, archaic : a bearer of messages or news or a conductor of travelers

2 [ Middle English mercurie, from Medieval Latin mercurius, from Latin, the god ]

a : a silver-white poisonous heavy metallic element that is liquid at ordinary temperatures and is used especially in batteries, in dental amalgam, and in scientific instruments

called also quicksilver

— see Chemical Elements Table

b : the column of mercury in a thermometer or barometer also : temperature the mercury rose above 70 degrees

3 capitalized : the planet nearest the sun — see Planets Table

Examples of mercury in a Sentence

In the summer, the mercury can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Recent Examples on the Web

Other chemicals cited in a report include mercury, lead, barium and cadmium. Mary Shanklin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Publix gets brownfield tax aid for Oviedo, Orlando sites," 2 Dec. 2017 The laboratory did not possess a beam with sufficient energy to track mercury on the plates, so Kozachuk turned to the synchrotron at Cornell University. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Particle Accelerator Reveals Hidden Faces in Damaged 19th-Century Daguerreotype Portraits," 10 July 2018 Many components are laden with lead and mercury, cadmium, and other toxins. The Christian Science Monitor, "Thailand takes first step toward total ban of e-waste," 21 June 2018 In particular, many believe that trace amounts of mercury in vaccines causes autism. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, "Texas No. 1 'hotspot' for vaccine exemptions," 13 June 2018 Another common concern is that flu shots contain mercury. Grace Donnelly, Fortune, "The History of the Flu Shot and Some Common Misconceptions," 19 Jan. 2018 Miners in more than 80 countries use mercury, including nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa, according to Keane. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "The pope heads to Peru to visit a town ‘absolutely destroying itself’ for gold," 17 Jan. 2018 Higher-mercury fish include swordfish, king mackerel, marin, orange roughy, and tilefish. Korin Miller, SELF, "Hilary Duff May Have Eaten Sushi While Pregnant and Everyone Needs to Chill Out About It," 13 July 2018 As subjects sat unmoving for several minutes, their images were exposed to the plates, which were then developed using heated mercury vapor and a gold chloride solution. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Particle Accelerator Reveals Hidden Faces in Damaged 19th-Century Daguerreotype Portraits," 10 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of mercury

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mercury

Latin Mercurius, Roman god and the planet

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Statistics for mercury

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mercury

The first known use of mercury was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for mercury

mercury

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mercury

: a silver metal that is liquid at normal temperatures

: the mercury in a thermometer that shows the air's temperature

Mercury : the planet that is closest to the sun

mercury

noun
mer·cu·ry | \ ˈmər-kyə-rē \

Kids Definition of mercury

1 : a heavy silvery white poisonous metallic chemical element that is liquid at ordinary temperatures

2 : the column of mercury in a thermometer or barometer

3 capitalized : the planet that is nearest the sun and has a diameter of about 3000 miles (4700 kilometers)

mercury

noun
mer·cu·ry | \ ˈmər-kyə-rē, -k(ə-)rē \
plural mercuries

Medical Definition of mercury 

1 : a heavy silver-white poisonous metallic element that is liquid at ordinary temperatures and used especially in scientific instruments symbol Hg

called also quicksilver

— see Chemical Elements Table

2 : a pharmaceutical preparation containing mercury or a compound of it

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More from Merriam-Webster on mercury

Spanish Central: Translation of mercury

Nglish: Translation of mercury for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mercury for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mercury

Comments on mercury

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