1. (Science: chemistry) An elementary substance, as sodium, calcium, or copper, whose oxide or hydroxide has basic rather than acid properties, as contrasted with the nonmetals, or metalloids. No sharp line can be drawn between the metals and nonmetals, and certain elements partake of both acid and basic qualities, as chromium, manganese, bismuth, etc.
Popularly, the name is applied to certain hard, fusible metals, as gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead, zinc, nickel, etc, and also to the mixed metals, or metallic alloys, as brass, bronze, steel, bell metal, etc.
2. Ore from which a metal is derived; so called by miners.
3. A mine from which ores are taken. Slaves . . . And persons condemned to metals. (Jer. Taylor)
4. The substance of which anything is made; material; hence, constitutional disposition; character; temper. Not till god make men of some other metal than earth. (Shak)
5. Courage; spirit; mettle. See mettle.
The allusion is to the temper of the metal of a sword blade.
6. The broken stone used in macadamizing roads and ballasting railroads.
7. The effective power or calibre of guns carried by a vessel of war.
8. Glass in a state of fusion.
9. The rails of a railroad.
(Science: mathematics) base metal, an alloy resembling brass, consisting of three parts of copper to one of zinc; also called prince Rupert’s metal.
Origin: f. Metal, L. Metallum metal, mine, gr. Mine; cf. Gr. To search after. Cf. Mettle, Medal.