American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


METAL, noun met'l. [Latin metallum.] A simple, fixed, shining, opake body or substance, insoluble in water, fusible by heat, a good conductor of heat and electricity, capable when in the state of an oxyd, of uniting with acids and forming with them metallic salts. Many of the metals also malleable or extensible by the hammer, and some of them extremely ductile. Metals are mostly fossil, sometimes found native or pure, but more generally combined with other matter. Some metals are more malleable than others, and this circumstance gave rise to the distinction of metals and semi-metals; a distinction little regarded at the present day. Recent discoveries have enlarged the list of the metals, and the whole number now recognized is thirty, exclusive of those which have been recently discovered, as the bases of the earths and alkalies. Twelve of these are malleable, viz. platina, gold, silver, mercury, lead, copper, tin, iron, zink, palladium, nickel, and cadmium. The following sixteen are not sufficiently tenacious to bear extension by beating, viz. arsenic, antimony, bismuth, cobalt, manganese, tellurium, titanium, columbium, molybden, tungsten, chrome, osmium, iridium, rhodium, uranium, and cerium.

To these may be added potassium, sodium, barium, strontium, calcium, and lithium.

The following have not been exhibited in a separate form; magnesium, glucinum, yttrium, aluminum, thorinum, zirconium, and silicium.

1. Courage; spirit; so written by mistake for mettle.