Dictionary > Steel


1. (Science: chemistry) A variety of iron intermediate in composition and properties between wrought iron and cast iron (containing between one half of one per cent and one and a half per cent of carbon), and consisting of an alloy of iron with an iron carbide. Steel, unlike wrought iron, can be tempered, and retains magnetism. Its malleability decreases, and fusibility increases, with an increase in carbon.
2. An instrument or implement made of steel; as:
A weapon, as a sword, dagger, etc. Brave Macbeth . . . With his brandished steel. While doubting thus he stood, Received the steel bathed in his brother’s blood. (Dryden)
An instrument of steel (usually a round rod) for sharpening knives.
A piece of steel for striking sparks from flint.
3. Anything of extreme hardness; that which is characterised by sternness or rigor. Heads of steel. . Manhood’s heart of steel. .
4. (Science: medicine) A chalybeate medicine.
Steel is often used in the formation of compounds, generally of obvious meaning; as, steel-clad, steel-girt, steel-hearted, steel-plated, steel-pointed, etc.
(Science: medicine) Bessemer steel, a variety of steel containing a small amount of tungsten, and noted for its tenacity and hardness, as well as for its malleability and tempering qualities. It is also noted for its magnetic properties.
Origin: AS. Stel, steel, steele; akin to D. Staal, G. Stahl, OHG. Stahal, Icel. Stal, Dan. Staal, Sw. Stal, Old Prussian stakla.
1. To overlay, point, or edge with steel; as, to ste
el a razor; to steel an ax.
2. To make hard or strong; hence, to make insensible or obdurate. Lies well steeled with weighty arguments. (Shak) O god of battles! steel my soldier’s hearts. (Shak) Why will you fight against so sweet a passion, And steel your heart to such a world of charms? (Addison)
3. To cause to resemble steel, as in smoothness, polish, or other qualities. These waters, steeled By breezeless air to smoothest polish. (Wordsworth)
4. (Science: physics) To cover, as an electrotype plate, with a thin layer of iron by electrolysis. The iron thus deposited is very hard, like steel.
Origin: AS. Stlan: cf. Icel. Staela. See Steel.

You will also like...

Running Water Freshwater Communities

This tutorial introduces flowing water communities, which bring new and dithering factors into the equation for possible..

Cells in different stages of meiosis
Meiosis – The Genetics of Reproduction

Meiosis is a form of cell division that creates gametes. It is comprised of two divisions that in the end, the resulting..

Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems
Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems

There are many environmental factors that arise due to the usage of water in one way or another and for every action tha..

New Zealand Fauna
New Zealand’s Unique Fauna

Meet some of New Zealand's unique fauna, including endemic insects, frogs, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and investigate..

Population Growth and Survivorship
Population Growth and Survivorship

This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..

The process of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..