noun, often attributive
\ ˈziŋk How to pronounce zinc (audio) \

Definition of zinc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bluish-white metallic element that is ductile when pure but in the commercial form is brittle at ordinary temperatures and becomes ductile on slight heating, occurs abundantly in minerals, is an essential micronutrient for both plants and animals, and is used especially in alloys and as a protective coating in galvanizing iron and steel — see Chemical Elements Table


zinced or zincked\ ˈziŋ(k)t How to pronounce zinc (audio) \; zincing or zincking\ ˈziŋ-​kiŋ How to pronounce zinc (audio) \

Definition of zinc (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat or coat with zinc : galvanize

Examples of zinc in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Other natural ingredients include ginkgo biloba, horny goat weed, zinc, and Hawthorn berry. Norcal Marketing Llc, Chron, "5 Best Male Enhancement Pills: Top Sex Enhancer Supplements For Men 2021," 4 Feb. 2021 On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump also has taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin. CNN, "To treat Covid-19, President Trump is taking remdesivir, dexamethasone and more," 4 Oct. 2020 The investigation determined that the light, fibrous material dispersed from the facility to nearby properties contained concentrations of lead, zinc and copper and exceeded the state’s hazardous waste regulatory thresholds. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steel company to pay $4.1 million to settle West Oakland pollution claims," 3 Feb. 2021 Nonferrous mining refers to the mining of minerals other than iron, such as copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead. Todd Richmond, Star Tribune, "DNR board unanimously approves rules raising mining costs," 27 Jan. 2021 The Leech Flutter Spoon is made from a zinc alloy that is lighter than metals used in other spoons, and the lightweight design slows the sink rate, keeping the Leech Flutter Spoon in the strike zone longer. Mark Modoski, Field & Stream, "The 20 Best Ice Fishing Lures Ever," 25 Jan. 2021 Copper and other raw materials such as zinc and aluminum are the building blocks of construction, used to manufacture everything from computers to houses. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Biden Stimulus Adds Fuel to Copper Rally," 15 Jan. 2021 Ormolu is an alloy of copper, zinc and sometimes tin, cast into decorative shapes and gilded with a fine gold-mercury mixture. oregonlive, "What do today’s collectors seek? Objects that tell stories of the past," 5 Jan. 2021 The former mine leaches water more corrosive than battery acid that also contains large amounts of zinc, copper and cadmium. NBC News, "Wildfires fueled by climate change threaten toxic Superfund sites," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just be careful with wheelweights as part of that government freak-out changed them to zinc. Bryce M. Towsley, Field & Stream, "7 Money Saving Tips for Reloaders," 23 June 2020 Don’t fall for myths: Vitamin C won’t ward off the virus; neither will zinc, echinacea or green tea. Patrick J. Lyons, New York Times, "Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today," 17 Mar. 2020

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


1651, in the meaning defined above


1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zinc


German Zink

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Statistics for zinc

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zinc. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for zinc



English Language Learners Definition of zinc

: a bluish-white metal that is very common and is used especially to make brass and as a protective coating for things made of iron and steel


\ ˈziŋk How to pronounce zinc (audio) \

Kids Definition of zinc

: a bluish white metal that tarnishes only slightly in moist air and is used mostly to make alloys and to give iron and steel a protective coating


\ ˈziŋk How to pronounce zinc (audio) \

Medical Definition of zinc

: a bluish white crystalline bivalent metallic element of low to intermediate hardness that is an essential micronutrient for both plants and animals symbol Zn — see Chemical Elements Table

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More from Merriam-Webster on zinc

Nglish: Translation of zinc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zinc for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zinc

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