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Chemical element
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EtymologyEdit

From Mercury.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈməː.kjʊ.ɹi/
  • (US) enPR: mûr'kūrē, IPA(key): /ˈmɝkjəɹi/
  • (file)

NounEdit

 
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mercury (countable and uncountable, plural mercuries)

  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.]
      Synonyms: azoth (in alchemy), hydrargyrum (in medical and sometimes chemical use), quicksilver (not in technical use)
    2. (sciences, historical) One of the elemental principles formerly thought to be present in all metals. [from 15th c.]
    3. (with definite article) Ambient pressure or temperature (from the use of mercury in barometers and thermometers). [from 17th c.]
      The mercury there has averaged 37.6°C, 2.3°C above the February norm.
    4. (obsolete) Liveliness, volatility. [17th-18th c.]
      • (Can we date this quote?) 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, annual mercury (Mercurialis annua), formerly grown for its medicinal properties; French mercury, herb mercury. [from 14th c.]
      Synonym: mercurial
      • 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.]

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Mercury” in David Barthelmy, Webmineral Mineralogy Database[1], 1997–.
  • mercury”, in Mindat.org[2], Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, accessed 29 August 2016.

Middle EnglishEdit

NounEdit

mercury

  1. Alternative form of mercurie

ReferencesEdit