mercury

noun
mer·​cu·​ry | \ ˈmər-kyə-rē How to pronounce mercury (audio) , -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 The use of mercury in cosmetics is restricted in most countries due to its toxic effects. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, 9 Mar. 2022 Some—like those running alongside Alfred Nobel’s famous dynamite factory in Glasgow—filled with mercury and other toxic waste. Corey Buhay, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2022 Ban on all cosmetics with mercury, steroids, retinol derivatives, vitamin A and hydroquinone above 2%. Umuhoza Rahmat, CNN, 13 July 2022 Do not eat any Largemouth bass due to presence of mercury. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 7 June 2022 Those two, along with mercury, are the only three for which use is the largest source of loss. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 The prospectors' sites often grow over time, creating vast damage, destroying riverbanks, contaminating waterways with mercury and disrupting Indigenous peoples’ traditional ways of life. Fabiano Maisonnave, ajc, 20 May 2022 The plan’s goal included eliminating harmful materials from baby foods by April 2022, inorganic arsenic by April 2024 and cadmium and mercury after April 2024. Ahjané Forbes, Hartford Courant, 28 June 2022 Its predicted high near 95 is within flirting distance of Cincinnati’s record for June 23, when the mercury rose to 97 on that date in 1988. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, 21 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for mercury

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near mercury

mercurous chloride

mercury

Mercury's staff

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Statistics for mercury

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mercury.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercury. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mercury

mercury

noun
mer·​cu·​ry | \ ˈmər-kyə-rē How to pronounce mercury (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mercury (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on mercury

Nglish: Translation of mercury for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mercury for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mercury

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