mercury

See also: Mercury

EnglishEdit

Chemical element
Hg Previous: gold (Au)
Next: thallium (Tl)

EtymologyEdit

From Mercury.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

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mercury (uncountable)

  1. A metal.
    1. A silvery-colored, toxic, metallic chemical element, liquid at room temperature, with atomic number 80 and symbol Hg. [from 14th c.]
    2. (sciences, historical) One of the elemental principles formerly thought to be present in all metals. [from 15th c.]
    3. The mercury as used in a barometer or thermometer; ambient temperature. [from 17th c.]
      The mercury there has averaged 37.6C, 2.3C above the February norm.
    4. (obsolete) Liveliness, volatility. [17th-18th c.]
    • Bishop Burnet
      He was so full of mercury that he could not fix long in any friendship, or to any design.
  2. A plant.
    1. An annual plant, Mercurialis annua, formerly grown for its medicinal properties; French mercury. [from 14th c.]
      • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, p. 188:
        Towards the tops of the stalks and branches come forth at every joint in the male Mercury two small round green heads, standing together upon a short footstalk, which growing ripe are the seeds, not having any flower.
    2. A similar edible plant, Chenopodium bonus-henricus, otherwise known as English mercury or allgood. [from 15th c.]
    3. (US, regional) The poison oak or poison ivy. [from 18th c.]

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Last modified on 7 April 2014, at 22:44