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 Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to prevent rust and corrosion, and some chain link fence panels have an additional vinyl coating to provide an extra layer of protection while also making the fence more visually appealing. James Fitzgerald, Popular Mechanics, 4 Aug. 2022 The oil-free sunscreen uses SolarSmart technology along with active skin-protectant ingredients like five percent of zinc to deflect UV rays away from the skin. Nicol Natale, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2022 The team looked for isotopes of zinc preserved in the enamel of each tooth. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2022 The combination of zinc, magnesium, and charcoal work together to give you highly effective odor prevention while delivering a silky-smooth feel. The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 May 2022 This fungus does not enjoy eating your skin oil combined with zinc. Marci Robin, Allure, 16 May 2022 In early April, the proportion of zinc due to leave warehouses to be sold or used jumped to 65% from 26%. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 18 Apr. 2022 Now Hindustan Zinc is the world’s second largest producer of zinc, and Balco is one of India’s leading aluminum producers. Biman Mukherji, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2022 The women’s formula adds the aforementioned vitamins, plus biotin and a boost of calcium and zinc. The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 July 2022 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

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zinc. Accessed 11 Aug. 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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