\ ˈstē-lē How to pronounce steely (audio) \
steelier; steeliest

Definition of steely

1 : resembling or suggesting steel (as in hardness, color, strength, or coldness) steely determination steely blue
2 : made of steel

Other Words from steely

steeliness noun

Examples of steely in a Sentence

a thief with steely nerves He had a steely determination to succeed. She gave him a steely gaze. a sky filled with steely gray clouds the judge's steely blue eyes
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Recent Examples on the Web Reid’s wisp-thin voice betrayed his steely exterior. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, 9 Jan. 2022 Baker’s husband of 15 months, fellow stand-up comedian Andy Haynes, notes that her achievements can be traced back directly to her steely determination and intimidating work ethic. Lloyd Grove, Rolling Stone, 30 Dec. 2021 The steely core, an ability to rise above hardship, to bend in the wind, to stick it out, to grin and bear it. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 15 Dec. 2021 Crisp whites, steely grays, and other cool neutrals are long-time favorites that deliver a clean, contemporary look, but preferences are starting to shift in a warmer direction. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Dec. 2021 Founded four years ago, Madhappy is a next-gen streetwear brand that moves away from the steely exclusivity of the Fairfax and SoHo stalwarts toward a come one, come all ethos. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, 11 Dec. 2021 The only thing missing from the recent flurry of coverage was her own voice, one once strong enough to force the authorities to bend to her steely determination to control her own destiny. New York Times, 22 Nov. 2021 When the two Orphii did strike the right balance, the effect was sublime — the peculiar penmanship of Orliński’s voice tracing elegant figures around Hopkins’s steely delivery. Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2021 Dust flew and machinery whirred in an industrial workroom Saturday morning as students sawed, sanded, drilled, branded and stacked planks of wood with a steely efficiency. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Nov. 2021

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

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Steely.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for steely



English Language Learners Definition of steely

: very strong and determined often in a cold or unfriendly way
: resembling steel especially in color


\ ˈstē-lē How to pronounce steely (audio) \
steelier; steeliest

Kids Definition of steely

: like steel (as in hardness, strength, or color) steely eyes

More from Merriam-Webster on steely

Nglish: Translation of steely for Spanish Speakers


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