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met·al (mĕtl)
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n.
1. Any of a category of electropositive elements that usually have a shiny surface, are generally good conductors of heat and electricity, and can be melted or fused, hammered into thin sheets, or drawn into wires. Typical metals form salts with nonmetals, basic oxides with oxygen, and alloys with one another.
2. An alloy of two or more metallic elements.
3. An object made of metal.
4. Basic character; mettle.
5. Broken stones used for road surfaces or railroad beds.
6. Molten glass, especially when used in glassmaking.
7. Molten cast iron.
8. Printing Type made of metal.
9. Music Heavy metal.
tr.v. met·aled, met·al·ing, met·als also met·alled or met·al·ling
To cover or surface (a roadbed, for example) with broken stones.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin metallum, from Greek metallon, mine, ore, metal.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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