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 Overall construction is usually steel, which is frequently galvanized (dipped in molten zinc) to inhibit rust. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, "The best in-line vent fan," 26 Feb. 2021 Add visual interest to the bar space with zinc or leather-wrapped bar tops, backlit shelves, decorative ladders, or even luxury materials, like onyx, Ms. Bencich suggests. Hannah Selinger, WSJ, "Home Bars That Bring a Little Something to the Party," 3 Dec. 2020 Most people in the U.S. are not deficient in zinc, according to the Mayo Clinic. Colleen De Bellefonds, SELF, "Why the Hydroxychloroquine Myth Persists," 29 Oct. 2020 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 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.

See More

First Known Use of zinc


1651, in the meaning defined above


1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zinc


German Zink

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zinc

Statistics for zinc

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zinc. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on zinc

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!