steelier; steeliest
: resembling or suggesting steel (as in hardness, color, strength, or coldness)
steely determination
steely blue
: made of steel
steeliness noun

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web Sullivan gave up and escorted Kapp, steely eyed and resolute, out of the building. Ken Belson, New York Times, 12 May 2023 These objects are poorly understood so an important role for researchers is to bring the steely eye of science to bear on the issue of what these things really are. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2023 Gammel, a Grayson County College signee who was thrust into the closer role because of his steely mentality, is 6 for 6 in save opportunities with a 0.90 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. Shawn Mcfarland, Dallas News, 6 Apr. 2023 Steed plays Lady Gosling, the steely no-nonsense chair of Independent Broadcasters Association. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 15 May 2023 Only briefly did his steely facade crack into a small smile at the sight of grandson Prince George who was one of the four pages of honour helping hold his robe of state. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 May 2023 Her popularity soared with her steely response to the pandemic after Mardi Gras in 2020 became an early superspreader event. Katy Reckdahl, New York Times, 1 May 2023 Moments later, a quick thumbs-up signals attack mode, and our two-car convoy begins its speedy climb up the steely gray spiral staircase to the first summit of the Parc naturel régional des Alpilles. Georg Kacher, Car and Driver, 26 Apr. 2023 Linney exudes steely confidence with a dash of haughty arrogance as Diana — perhaps masking insecurities over the humble trajectory of her own career. Dalton Ross,, 26 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'steely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of steely was in 1509

Dictionary Entries Near steely

Cite this Entry

“Steely.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


steelier; steeliest
: made of steel
: resembling steel (as in hardness or color)
a steely gaze
steeliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on steely

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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