Definition of metal in English:



mass noun
  • 1A solid material which is typically hard, shiny, malleable, fusible, and ductile, with good electrical and thermal conductivity (e.g. iron, gold, silver, and aluminium, and alloys such as steel)

    ‘an adjustable pole made of metal’
    count noun ‘being a metal, aluminium readily conducts heat’
    • ‘Earthen materials like steel, metal and granite are hard to get these days.’
    • ‘Known as shape-memory materials, they are metal alloys or polymers that accomplish similar feats in different ways.’
    • ‘The result was a new, hard metal, Bessemer steel, ideal for rail-making.’
    • ‘Reactive metals will react with nitric acid to give the metal nitrate and hydrogen gas.’
    • ‘I tried an unlocking spell on my prison door, then kicking it with my dragora legs, but the solid metal door remained securely shut.’
    • ‘Bronze rapidly became a very popular metal since it was harder and more durable than either copper or tin by itself.’
    • ‘Common reductants are the active metals, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, carbon, carbon monoxide, and sulfurous acid.’
    • ‘The thermal conductivity of this metal is, like electrical conductivity, determined largely by the free electrons.’
    • ‘Pyrotechnicians started putting metal chlorides in the fireworks to produce a dazzling array of color.’
    • ‘The second door, made of a shiny metal resembling stainless steel, had a cold, menacing look and feel to it.’
    • ‘The door was made of metal and had long, vertical bars on it instead of solid metal like the other doors that could be found in the rest of the building.’
    • ‘Plaster of Paris is widely used as a mold or model material in the metal and ceramic industries.’
    • ‘She was the only girl in the class that could carry the big, solid metal poles by herself.’
    • ‘It is the most ductile and malleable of all metals.’
    • ‘Titanium exists in two allotropic forms, one of which is a dark gray, shiny metal.’
    • ‘Anyway, amalgams are alloys that combine mercury and other metals in the periodic table.’
    • ‘It's made of metal, polyvinyl chloride pipe, wire mesh netting, and wood.’
    • ‘This award-winning site has a number of sections relating to alkaline earth metals, transition metals, other metals and metalloids.’
    • ‘This shining metal was not raw iron but hard steel, which bent the softer wrought-iron blades of the Gauls.’
    • ‘The ramp was metal, solid metal, and cold against Sekher's toes as they started up.’
    rail, line
    1. 1.1metalsThe steel tracks of a railway.
      ‘the locomotive is presently being made ready for operation over Network SouthEast metals’
    2. 1.2Heraldry Gold and silver (as tinctures in blazoning).
      ‘In cases where the mounting or backing of the enamel is metal (silver or gold), matching is not really important.’
  • 2

    (also road metal)
    Broken stone for use in making roads.

    ‘the work also involves dealing with rock aggregates for potential use as suitable road metal’
    • ‘In common with other specifications for road construction the contractors had to remove all ‘fixed stones’ from the bed on which road metal was laid.’
    • ‘For all we knew they could have just been road metal.’
    • ‘96 Drains were usually constructed 18 in. square and were built with lime-mortared masonry walls that supported flat slab stones beneath the road metal.’
    • ‘A greater width and depth of road metal was used on roads closer to Aberdeen that carried a larger volume of traffic.’
    • ‘The work includes blasting and crushing rock from a quarry and laying the road metal produced on the track and leveling the surface.’
    • ‘The top of the Chamberlain's Brook is most accessible in a road metal quarry located south of Killigrews village and 7.0 km east of the intersection of Red Bridge Road with coastal Rte. 60.’
  • 3Molten glass before it is blown or cast.

    ‘In 1952 he thought about using the bed of molten metal to form the flat glass, eliminating altogether the need for the rollers.’
  • 4Heavy metal or similar rock music.

    ‘industrial music is also a blend of metal and techno’
    with modifier ‘crunching power-trio metal’
    • ‘When I left the army I dived into metal and rock music headfirst.’
    • ‘I listen to hardcore, metal, and rock music, so listening to music when I have a really bad headache makes it worse.’
    • ‘But the crunchy metal riffs with squeals of harmonic distortion can only carry an album for so long, and 55 minutes is way beyond that time.’
    • ‘An original sound raging from bluesy to metal to creepy folk music, this is extremely well done.’
    • ‘Hooky choruses, instrumentation as background, and compact songwriting are trademarks of pop music, not metal.’
    • ‘Unless you're into some seriously hard-core rap, hip hop or metal, you'll need to cut the sub way back to create the right balance.’
    • ‘Thanks to hourly lineup changes, the music morphs from mid-tempo rock to jazzy reggae to metal.’
    • ‘This metal / techno/pastiche music is what really directs the film, what makes the images move.’
    • ‘Norwegian punk rockers blur the lines of rock, metal and punk rock with their own creation, death punk.’
    • ‘But in reality, these guys have always been more of a '60s frat rock band with metal riffs.’
    • ‘Tossing in elements of blues, rock, glam-rock, soul and metal, it's a wildly extravagant affair that is likely to put off as many people as it delights.’
    • ‘The band has always had its own unique style to play metal with its powerful lyrics and powerful metal riffs.’
    • ‘But one of my biggest disappointments is that I rarely find occasions to share my love of metal with my indie rock friends.’
    • ‘I felt that the heart of the music is more traditional metal, and a change in format would give it a modern edge.’
    • ‘Their unique style, in many ways, is actually closer to free jazz or classical than metal.’
    • ‘Their freshness brings a certain quality to metal music which can often be overlooked.’
    • ‘They take a bunch of dead-weight lead and spin it into the most beautiful, yet extreme, metal music around.’
    • ‘In a way, writing about metal is easier than writing about pop music, and often much more fun.’
    • ‘His brand of barroom rock 'n' blues caught on huge at a time when punk, new wave and metal were stripping down the pretense of prog rock.’
    • ‘I'd lined up other discs just in case it, in fact, turned out to be Scandinavian doom metal or a cunning front for an area smooth jazz combo.’

verbmetals, metalling, metalled, North American metaling, North American metaled

[with object]
  • 1as adjective metalledMade from or coated with metal.

    ‘a range of metalled key rings’
    • ‘Stevens said it was proposed to leave the metalled track in place after the work was completed which, he said, would be an advantage for people walking through Scotchell.’
    • ‘The hot, high Sun in the middle of an azure blue wash - straight out of a David Hockney painting, the metal men stood erect, gazing out to sea in all their metalled nakedness.’
    • ‘These we passed on the way up, an ascent made easy to Nab Farm by a metalled track.’
    • ‘As the car swings onto the East Coast Road, on the way back to Chennai, we find a man-lion dancing on the sandy strip between kiosks advertising Kodak film and ‘Frooti’, and the metalled speedway.’
    • ‘It is also often assumed that the road cross-section conforms to a regular design standard, with a metalled width of 20 ft.’
    • ‘The main entrance to Hillyfields is now through an access set between splayed walls which are constructed across the disputed strip almost up to the edge of the metalled driveway.’
    • ‘Many of the houses are linked to the street by short lengths of metalled or flagstone pathway, like little garden paths.’
    • ‘The route drops to a dead-end road called Smearbottom Lane further uphill, but downhill it becomes Hawthorns Lane and we took its very steep and metalled surface.’
    • ‘Continue straight along the enclosed track, which soon becomes a metalled lane, and follow this all the way back down into Gargrave.’
    • ‘Coins suggest the bridge, thought to have been replaced by a metalled surface as the channel silted up, was built cAD200-400.’
    • ‘On the outside of the road are deep precipices; sometimes there are a few metres of rough ground between the metalled surface and the edge, but more often not.’
    • ‘When the town was completely out of sight, the chauffeur drove down a road which within only a few miles lost its metalled base and crumbled into rough cobbles.’
    • ‘In fact, our unabashed dictionary describes a road as a strip of metalled surface connecting potholes.’
    • ‘Even today, no one has tried to construct a metalled road along the coast between Argos and Monemvasia: the hills are simply too steep and impassable.’
    • ‘Then we spilt out onto the metalled road in Bethlehem, and I wandered past the ranks of closed shops.’
    • ‘When one entered the city, the metalled roads and high-rise buildings conveyed the feeling of universal city.’
    • ‘The world's highest stretch of metalled road, running from Manali to Ladakh, was built by the Tibetans.’
    • ‘He said till such time as the metalled road was constructed, a fair-weather communication link be ensured.’
    • ‘Access to Tockwith must be by the authorised route only, with great care being taken when turning into the rough lane from the metalled road.’
    • ‘Said climb is up to Fremington Edge, the landmass that dominates Reeth, an ascent to 1,500 feet, quite steep, on metalled dead-end road barely wide enough for a car for the first mile.’
  • 2usually as adjective metalledBritish Make or mend (a road) with road metal.

    ‘follow the metalled road for about 200 yards’
    ‘the road was metalled and tolls charged for the upkeep’
    • ‘In the Montagne Noire area iron slag was used for road metalling, providing a very hard surface that was resistant to any kind of degradation.’
    • ‘I mean [the Defendants] to have the fullest right of metalling the road and making it the best road they can to meet the circumstances.’
    • ‘Finally in February 1875 the government called tenders for the ‘forming, building culverts, making catch drains and metalling on the road through Coromandel Valley’.’
    • ‘All of the stone and other material used in metalling this road had to be brought from India.’
    • ‘In one part of the country the roads are metalled and well-signposted, but as soon as your car enters another borough, the dual carriageway abruptly becomes a pot-holed dirt-track.’
    cover, surface, floor, top, finish, concrete, concrete over, asphalt, flag, tile, tar, tarmac, metal


Middle English from Old French metal or Latin metallum, from Greek metallon ‘mine, quarry, or metal’.