\ 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

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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

Molly is sincere and guileless, a true foil for steely and withering Katherine. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Emma Thompson makes ‘Late Night’ worth staying up for – almost single-handedly," 10 June 2019 What is consistent is her tenderness and steely precision. Madeleine Schwartz, Harper's magazine, "Warm, Weird, Effervescent," 10 June 2019 Idehenre inhabits Sigourney with both warmth and steely resolve, while Brown gives Katie a passionate intensity and sharp wit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Old Globe’s world-premiere work ‘What You Are’ is a deep dive into identity politics and more," 7 June 2019 Some officials prefer preparing for games with quiet, steely focus. Alex Prewitt,, "A Viral Star, Wes McCauley Was Destined to be an NHL Referee," 16 Jan. 2018 In the photo, Tucker paired a leopard print top with a fuzzy coat, Weiss matched a red beret to her blazer, and Brownstein complemented her steely gaze with a slouchy, black denim jacket. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "St. Vincent Is Producing Sleater-Kinney’s New Album and Has Riot Grrrl Style Down Pat," 8 Jan. 2019 Wilfried experiences some qualms about the implications of being a German holding Jews at gunpoint, while Brigitte gobbles pills and maintains an air of steely ruthlessness. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ Revisits a Notorious Hijacking," 14 Mar. 2018 Taipei Li Ching-yu fixes me with a look of steely determination. Benedict Rogers, WSJ, "Beijing’s Chilling Imprisonment of a Taiwanese Critic," 31 Mar. 2019 Even Duhamel, usually deployed as a steely B-list action-movie hunk, is delightful as Simon’s dopey, brawny, well-meaning dad. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Love, Simon Is Groundbreakingly Ordinary," 13 Mar. 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

26 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce steely (audio) \
steelier; steeliest

Kids Definition of steely

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on steely

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steely

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steely

Spanish Central: Translation of steely

Nglish: Translation of steely for Spanish Speakers

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