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 zincked (audio) \; zincing or zincking\ ˈziŋ-​kiŋ How to pronounce zincking (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 In order to maintain a healthy skin and coat, cats need to eat a diet of balanced nutrition, including omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center — so dry skin could indicate a diet deficiency. Alesandra Dubin, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Treat Dry Skin on Cats, According to Veterinarians," 30 Dec. 2019 One mopane worm, as they are called, provides between 48% to 61% of protein, and is a source of calcium, zinc and iron. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The food that can feed, and maybe save, the planet: Bugs," 25 Oct. 2019 Nutrition Carbon dioxide emissions are lowering the nutritional density of food crops, reducing plant levels of protein, zinc and iron and leading to more nutritional deficiencies. Emily Holden, Scientific American, "Climate Change Is Having Widespread Health Impacts," 16 Sep. 2019 There were two voice lessons and two physical-therapy sessions each week, cupping treatments, zinc and oregano supplements, and other cures. Vogue, "Ben Platt on His Next Act: A Star Turn in Ryan Murphy's The Politician," 20 Aug. 2019 Those disposable filters use something called ion exchange resin to filter out copper, cadmium and zinc. Dan Sweeney, sun-sentinel.com, "Why do we have to boil water anyway?," 19 July 2019 In addition to the iron, zinc, and a mineral called lüneburgite, there are things like urea and a source of sulfur-hydrogen bonds. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 Vedanta, which is set to begin production at its new Gamsberg zinc mine in South Africa this year, had been searching for a new chief executive since Albanese’s flagged departure last year. Bloomberg.com, "Billionaire Agarwal Hires AngloGold's CEO to Run Vedanta," 17 Apr. 2018 Designed to be enjoyed alone or with a partner, their new line features gorgeous bath salts sourced from the Southern Dead Sea, as well as a Coconut Milk Bath that hydrates with coconut milk while detoxifying and boosting circulation with zinc. Vogue, "The Best New Bath Products to Give and Get This Winter," 21 Nov. 2019

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zinc.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zincs. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for zinc


How to pronounce zinc (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zinc

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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