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 is part of a soft zinc alloy that jackets the lead bullet to protect the inside of the gun barrel when firing. Aaron Smith, Forbes, 10 June 2021 Enter zinc, a silvery, nontoxic, cheap, abundant metal. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 27 May 2021 Pinto and others like Rajeev Jayadevan, consultant gastroenterologist at Kochi’s Sunrise Group of Hospitals, have been particularly concerned about the possible role of zinc in aiding the fungal infection to take root. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 24 May 2021 Officials believe the high levels of zinc were from swallowing pennies thrown into the pond, a common source of poisoning in birds, Aparton said. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Mar. 2021 Healthier immune system: Cashews are a good source of zinc and protein, two key ingredients to a stronger immune system. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 23 Dec. 2020 Loh also suggests ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, may have a role in COVID-19 treatment and details an upcoming Cleveland Clinic clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of zinc, ascorbic acid or a combination for coronavirus treatment. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2020 Tiger Tea boosts hair strength with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, ashwagandha, vitamin B12, zinc and biotin. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Maude's bath salts are crafted from a skin-softening and rejuvenating blend of salt crystals hand-harvested from the Southern Dead Sea, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc, and more nourishing vitamins and minerals. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, 29 Apr. 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, 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

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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Learn More About zinc

Statistics for zinc

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zinc. Accessed 25 Jun. 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

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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