metal

noun, often attributive
met·​al | \ ˈme-tᵊl How to pronounce metal (audio) \

Definition of metal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, form cations by loss of electrons, and yield basic oxides and hydroxides especially : one that is a chemical element as distinguished from an alloy
b : the substance out of which a person or thing is made
3 : glass in its molten state
4a : printing type metal
b : matter set in metal type

metal

verb
metaled or metalled; metaling or metalling

Definition of metal (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover or furnish with metal

Examples of metal in a Sentence

Noun

a mixture of various kinds of metal sculptors who work in metal and clay a mixture of different metals
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lead is one of the densest metals in existence, yet is soft, melts easily, and clings fantastically to skin. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019 If the anode was coated with negative charges, the scientists realized, those layers repel chloride and temper the rate of decay in the underlying metal. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Now Transforming Saltwater Into Hydrogen Fuel," 20 Mar. 2019 Finally, the pieces go to the setter, who encases it in more wax and sets each tiny diamond or stone into the metal. Kate Young, Vogue, "Inside Kate Young’s Chanel-Filled Trip to Paris for Couture Week," 25 Jan. 2019 The metal is on California’s Proposition 65 list of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Why cadmium, a metal that can cause kidney and bone damage, is still used in jewelry," 12 Oct. 2018 The president has promoted tariffs as a way to protect American businesses and workers, aiming at dozens of nations with metal tariffs, as well as bringing broader levies against Chinese goods. New York Times, "G.M. Says New Wave of Trump Tariffs Could Force U.S. Job Cuts," 29 June 2018 The spike in copper prices in recent years has driven well known black market for the metal. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "Thief electrocuted while attempting to steal copper wire from light pole," 22 June 2018 Only the nonferrous-metals sector, with a margin of just 1.4% in early 2019, looks in serious trouble. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The Missing Chinese Bond Apocalypse," 28 Mar. 2019 Despite its low price, SanDisk’s Ultra Flair drive has an all-metal enclosure for added durability and still comes with a five-year warranty. Don Melanson, Popular Mechanics, "Best USB Flash Drives for Storage on the Go," 26 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The silicone holder attaches to metal vehicle surfaces (don’t try it on aluminum or fiberglass). Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "What’s shaking in dog- and cat-product innovations? | The Sacramento Bee," 2 May 2018

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1617, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for metal

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin metallum mine, metal, from Greek metallon

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about metal

Statistics for metal

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for metal

The first known use of metal was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for metal

metal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of metal

: a substance (such as gold, tin, or copper) that usually has a shiny appearance, is a good conductor of electricity and heat, can be melted, and is usually capable of being shaped

metal

noun
met·​al | \ ˈme-tᵊl How to pronounce metal (audio) \

Kids Definition of metal

1 : a substance (as gold, tin, copper, or bronze) that has a more or less shiny appearance, is a good conductor of electricity and heat, and usually can be made into a wire or hammered into a thin sheet
2 : mettle

metal

noun
met·​al | \ ˈmet-ᵊl How to pronounce metal (audio) \

Medical Definition of metal

: any of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, form cations by loss of electrons, and yield basic oxides and hydroxides especially : one that is a chemical element as distinguished from an alloy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on metal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with metal

Spanish Central: Translation of metal

Nglish: Translation of metal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of metal for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about metal

Comments on metal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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