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 Copper, vital to everything from construction to electronics, has lost 8.5% since its March record, while zinc and lead are off 8.7% and 10% from this year’s highs, respectively. Hardika Singh, WSJ, 3 May 2022 The custom zinc countertops by La Bastille were surprisingly affordable and will patina nicely with age. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, 2 Mar. 2022 Shampoos for dandruff usually contain salicylic acid and zinc pyrithione as primary ingredients. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 With that in mind, some of the best dandruff shampoos will contain antifungal ingredients, like ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, and zinc pyrithione, which will rein in the yeast that's setting your dandruff in motion. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 23 Aug. 2021 Some brands, like Impossible and Beyond, also add a bunch of vitamins and minerals—zinc, niacin, and B vitamins, for example—to try and replicate those found naturally in beef. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 19 Apr. 2022 The rinse includes zinc, coconut oil and spirulina while the tooth paste is enriched with vitamins A, E and aloe vera. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, 18 Apr. 2022 Pieces are also made with sustainable fabrics and materials, such as Lenzing Ecovero viscose (a fiber derived wood and pulp) and recycled polyester, zinc, brass and polyamide. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Apr. 2022 The rest came from copper, zinc, and other metal mining and marketing. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 10 Apr. 2022 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, 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, 17 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near zinc



zinc alkyl

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Statistics for zinc

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zinc. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for zinc


\ 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

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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