steel

noun
\ ˈstēl How to pronounce steel (audio) \

Definition of steel

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent as an essential alloying constituent, is malleable when under suitable conditions, and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content
2 : an instrument or implement of or characteristically of steel: such as
a : a thrusting or cutting weapon
b : an instrument (such as a fluted round rod with a handle) for sharpening knives
c : a piece of steel for striking sparks from flint
3 : a quality (such as hardness of mind or spirit) that suggests steel nerves of steel
4a : the steel manufacturing industry
b steels plural : shares of stock in steel companies

steel

verb
steeled; steeling; steels

Definition of steel (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to overlay, point, or edge with steel
2a : to cause to resemble steel (as in looks or hardness)
b : to fill with resolution or determination steeled herself to face the crisis

steel

adjective

Definition of steel (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : made of steel
2 : of or relating to the production of steel
3 : resembling steel

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Synonyms & Antonyms for steel

Synonyms: Noun

blade, brand, sword

Synonyms: Verb

bear up, buck up, buoy (up), cheer (up), chirk (up), embolden, encourage, hearten, inspire, inspirit

Antonyms: Verb

daunt, discourage, dishearten, dispirit

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Examples of steel in a Sentence

Noun

The beams are made of steel. Steel is an important industry in this area. The invaders were driven back by steel. the steel of a knife

Verb

hoped that his inspirational talk would steel the youths in the pursuit of their dreams years of running a farm had steeled the hard-bitten woman
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There was serious steel there, more than some of his admirers might want to know. Douglas Murray, National Review, "Michael Tippett’s ‘Timeless Music in Time’," 11 July 2019 Americans will not have to wait till October to see the impact of their political shocks, as Mr Trump’s tariffs on steel, aluminium and Chinese imports are already biting. The Economist, "SlowbalisationMultinational companies are adjusting to shorter supply chains," 11 July 2019 Showy Damascus steel with swirling patterns of black and silver, glimmering handles fashioned from mother of pearl. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Our guide to knives will give you an edge in the kitchen," 10 July 2019 When the state of New Hampshire condemned the old concrete bridge over the Squam River in the 1980s, the plan was to replace it with another steel-and-concrete bridge. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "6 Instagram-worthy covered bridges in New England," 9 July 2019 The level of detail hidden under the skin — which is all steel, save for an aluminum hood — would amaze most owners. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Why Ford walked away from all-aluminum bodies for new 2020 Explorer," 6 July 2019 President Donald Trump's new import tariffs on building materials, including steel and lumber, could drive up the price of improvements, thereby cutting into your return. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Home improvement projects with the best return on investment," 4 July 2019 It is comprised of 168 massive stainless-steel plates and is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "7 Arrested for Allegedly Vandalizing Chicago's Famous 'Bean' Sculpture," 2 July 2019 If all this wasn’t enough, steel, bronze and mixed-media outdoor art are installed along or nearby the trail, including a sculpture of flying birds and a piece celebrating miners. Jeanine Barone, The Know, "Ride your bike on these Colorado railroad routes without fear of being run over by a train," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for debates Wednesday and Thursday nights, engineers and other specialists at Facebook and Twitter are steeling themselves for a different kind of contest. Elena Shao, SFChronicle.com, "Facebook, Twitter set to fight fake news during Democratic debates," 25 June 2019 What steeled and defined the 1999 team was a competitiveness rooted in the core members who had led the United States to victory in the inaugural, 1991 women’s World Cup — Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Scurry, Hamm, Lilly and Chastain, among others. Liz Clarke, courant.com, "Twenty years ago, U.S. women won the World Cup and changed the sport," 7 June 2019 At the media center, the video of another dying child only steeled their resolve. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The New York Review of Books, "How Assad Made Truth a Casualty of War," 7 Sep. 2018 Luckily for them, her intention isn't to trick you and steel your beauty—only to get her songs stuck in your head for the rest of your life. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "Recasted: Who Would Star in a Hocus Pocus Remake?," 31 Oct. 2018 At this point, many in the party seem more consumed with their nomination contests than with steeling themselves for the general election. Jonathan Martin And Alexander Burns, New York Times, "After Stormy Daniels, Republicans Face a Referendum on Trump’s Conduct," 26 Mar. 2018 Last summer, commuters steeled themselves for disruptions caused by Amtrak performing weeks of emergency track repair work at New York Penn Station. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Long Island Rail Road’s New Chief Gets a Bumpy Start," 26 Aug. 2018 Residents steeled themselves for the high winds, floods and mudslides that routinely come with the typhoons that afflict this tropical nation. Todd Pitman, Fox News, "AP WAS THERE: 2013 typhoon kills thousands in Philippines," 15 Sep. 2018 For many of us in the bureau, this was an appalling crime that made our hearts heavy, yet steeled our resolve to find justice for Jayden. Bianca Hillier, NBC News, "‘Little Jacob’ case: Texas police arrest mom, girlfriend after identifying body of Jayden Alexander Lopez," 20 June 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for steel

Noun

Middle English stele, from Old English stȳle, stēle; akin to Old High German stahal steel and perhaps to Sanskrit stakati he resists

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Learn More about steel

Dictionary Entries near steel

steedless

steek

steekgras

steel

steel band

steel blue

steelbow

Statistics for steel

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steel

The first known use of steel was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for steel

steel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of steel

: a strong, hard metal made of iron and carbon
: the industry that makes steel
literary : things (such as weapons) that are made of steel

steel

noun
\ ˈstēl How to pronounce steel (audio) \

Kids Definition of steel

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a hard and tough metal made by treating iron with great heat and mixing carbon with it
2 : an item (as a sword) made of steel

steel

verb
steeled; steeling

Kids Definition of steel (Entry 2 of 3)

: to fill with courage or determination I steeled myself for the struggle.

steel

adjective

Kids Definition of steel (Entry 3 of 3)

: made of steel a steel plow

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More from Merriam-Webster on steel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steel

Spanish Central: Translation of steel

Nglish: Translation of steel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about steel

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