\ˈstē-lē \
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

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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

The sport requires a steely combination of cardio, power, core strength, and total-body conditioning. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "What Is Snowshoe Racing? A Look Inside the Niche and Challenging Winter Sport," 17 Oct. 2018 Around that time, Mr. Wuorinen was writing dense and steely works like his Piano Variations and String Trio, and had founded the Group for Contemporary Music, one of the earliest American ensembles devoted to modernist works. New York Times, "He Has Fans, Fame and an Acclaimed ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Opera. So Why Is Charles Wuorinen So Cranky?," 25 May 2018 But his rumpled, eccentric exterior covers a core of steely ambition. Washington Post, "Regret, relief at departure of Boris Johnson as top UK envoy," 10 July 2018 Brunson is also a good three-point shooter, and his steely on-court demeanor will appeal to teams. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Draft Big Board 7.0: Top 100 Prospects," 24 Apr. 2018 Thus, taking his steely, dual-color stare to an otherworldly new level. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, David Bowie! What the Rock Icon Kept in His Makeup Bag," 8 Jan. 2018 Johnson's rumpled, eccentric exterior covers a core of steely ambition. Fox News, "Regret, relief at departure of Boris Johnson as top UK envoy," 10 July 2018 After the meeting a steely Mrs May said the days of ministerial dissent on Brexit were over. The Economist, "The biggest risk to Theresa May’s new Brexit plan is not from her party," 8 July 2018 The fast and furious Golden Knights against the skilled and steely Capitals. Alex Prewitt,, "How the Roster Decisions of Golden Knights GM George McPhee Color the Stanley Cup Final," 28 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near steely

steel wool







Statistics for steely

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steely

The first known use of steely was in 1509

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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 \
steelier; steeliest

Kids Definition of steely

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

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Comments on steely

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


a private place of worship

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