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Webster 1913 Edition


Steel

Steel

(stēl)
,
Noun.
[AS.
stēl
,
stȳl
,
stȳle
; akin to D.
staal
, G.
stahl
, OHG.
stahal
, Icel.
stāl
, Dan.
staal
, Sw.
stål
, Old Prussian
stakla
.]
1.
(Metal)
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)
A weapon, as a sword, dagger, etc.
“Brave Macbeth . . . with his brandished steel.”
Shak.
While doubting thus he stood,
Received the
steel
bathed in his brother’s blood.
Dryden.
(b)
An instrument of steel (usually a round rod) for sharpening knives.
(c)
A piece of steel for striking sparks from flint.
3.
Fig.: Anything of extreme hardness; that which is characterized by sternness or rigor.
“Heads of steel.”
Johnson.
“Manhood's heart of steel.”
Byron.
4.
(Med.)
A chalybeate medicine.
Dunglison.
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.
Bessemer steel
(Metal.)
See in the Vocabulary.
Blister steel
.
(Metal.)
See under
Blister
.
Cast steel
(Metal.)
,
a fine variety of steel, originally made by smelting blister or cementation steel; hence, ordinarily, steel of any process of production when remelted and cast.
Chrome steel
,
Chromium steel
(Metal.)
,
a hard, tenacious variety containing a little chromium, and somewhat resembling
tungsten steel
.
Mild steel
(Metal.)
,
a kind of steel having a lower proportion of carbon than ordinary steel, rendering it softer and more malleable.
Puddled steel
(Metal.)
,
a variety of steel produced from cast iron by the puddling process.
Steel duck
(Zool.)
,
the goosander, or merganser.
[Prov. Eng.]
Steel mill
.
(a)
(Firearms)
See
Wheel lock
, under
Wheel
.
(b)
A mill which has steel grinding surfaces
.
(c)
A mill where steel is manufactured.
Steel trap
,
a trap for catching wild animals. It consists of two iron jaws, which close by means of a powerful steel spring when the animal disturbs the catch, or tongue, by which they are kept open.
Steel wine
,
wine, usually sherry, in which steel filings have been placed for a considerable time, – used as a medicine.
Tincture of steel
(Med.)
,
an alcoholic solution of the chloride of iron.
Tungsten steel
(Metal.)
,
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.

Steel

(stēl)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Steeled
(stēld)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Steeling
.]
[AS.
stȳlan
: cf. Icel.
staela
. See
Steel
,
Noun.
]
1.
To overlay, point, or edge with steel;
as, to
steel
a razor; to
steel
an ax.
2.
Fig.:
To make hard or strong; hence, to make insensible or obdurate.
Lies well
steeled
with weighty arguments.
Shakespeare
O God of battles!
steel
my soldiers' hearts.
Shakespeare
Why will you fight against so sweet a passion,
And
steel
your heart to such a world of charms?
Addison.
3.
Fig.:
To cause to resemble steel, as in smoothness, polish, or other qualities.
These waters,
steeled

By breezeless air to smoothest polish.
Wordsworth.
4.
(Elec.)
To cover, as an electrotype plate, with a thin layer of iron by electrolysis. The iron thus deposited is very hard, like steel.

Webster 1828 Edition


Steel

STEEL

,
Noun.
[G.]
1.
Iron combined with a small portion of carbon; iron refined and hardened, used in making instruments, and particularly useful as the material of edged tools. It is called in chemistry, carburet of iron; but this is more usually the denomination of plumbago.
2.
Figuratively, weapons; particularly, offensive weapons, swords, spears and the like.
Brave Macbeth with his brandishd steel.
-- While doubting thus he stood, receivd the steel bathd in this brothers blood.
3.
Medicines composed of steel, as steel fillings.
After relaxing, steel strengthens the solids.
4.
Extreme hardness; as heads or hearts of steel.

STEEL

,
Adj.
Made of steel; as a steel plate or buckle.

STEEL

, v.t.
1.
To overlay, point or edge with steel; as, to steel the point of a sword; to steel a razor; to steel an ax.
2.
To make hard or extremely hard.
O God of battles, steel my soldiers hearts.
Lies well steeld with weighty arguments.
3.
To make hard; to make insensible or obdurate; as, to steel the heart against pity; to steel the mind or heart against reproof or admonition.

Definition 2022


Steel

Steel

See also: steel

English

Proper noun

Steel

  1. A surname.

steel

steel

See also: Steel

English

Noun

steel (countable and uncountable, plural steels)

  1. (uncountable) An artificial metal produced from iron, harder and more elastic than elemental iron; used figuratively as a symbol of hardness.
    • c. 725, Corpus Gloss., 1431:
      Ocearium stæli.
    • c. 825, Epinal Gloss., 49:
      Accearium steeli.
    • c. 1275, Laȝamon, Brut, 12916:
      Þe alle þine leomen wule to-draȝen. þeh þu weore stel al.
    • c. 1473, William Caxton translating Raoul Le Fèvre, The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, I:
      Employeng the steell of his swerd the most best wyse that in hym was possible.
    • c. 1480, St. Mary Magdalen, 408 in 1896, W. M. Metcalfe, Legends Saints Sc. Dial., I267:
      Weman...with wordis cane rycht wele our-cum mene hard as stele.
    • 1601, P. Holland translating Pliny, Hist. World, IIxxxivxiv514:
      The purest part thereof [of iron ore] which in Latine is called Nucleus ferri, i. the kernell or heart of the yron (and it is that which we call steele)
    • c. 1616, William Shakespeare, Antony & Cleopatra, IViv33:
      ...Like a man of Steele.
    • 1946, Thorpe's Dictionary of Applied Chemistry 4th ed., VII471:
      Steel may be roughly defined as an alloy of iron and carbon containing up to 1.7% carbon, all of the carbon being in the combined condition. A second definition, distinguishing it from cast or wrought iron, is that it has been produced in the molten condition, and a third states that steel can be hardened by quenching from a suitably high temperature. There are...certain exceptions to all these definitions.
    • 1976 Jul, Scientific American, 682:
      For the iron to be made into steel (defined as iron with a carefully controlled carbon content of 1.7 percent or less) the sulfur, the silicon, and the excess carbon must be removed.
  2. (countable) Any item made of this metal, particularly including:
    1. Bladed or pointed weapons, as swords, javelins, daggers.
      • c. 1250, The Owl & the Nightengale, 1030:
        For heom ne may halter ne bridel Bringe from here wode wyse, Ne mon mid stele ne mid ire.
      • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, The Tragedie of Macbeth, Iii35
        For braue Macbeth (well hee deſerues that Name)
        Diſdayning Fortune, with his brandiſht Steele,
        Which ſmoak'd with bloody execution
        (Like Valours Minion) caru'd out his paſſage.
      • 1712, Lord Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, III115:
        But who wou'd dream that out of abundant Charity and Brotherly Love shou'd come Steel, Fire, Gibbets, Rods.
      • 1892, Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-room Ballads, 139:
        They have asked for the steel. They shall have it now; Out cutlasses and board!
      • 1905, Oliver Elton translating Saxo-Grammaticus, The Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus, II:
        While one man was beating off the swords, the waters stole up silently and took him. Contrariwise, another was struggling with the waves, when the steel came up and encompassed him. The flowing waters were befouled with the gory spray. Thus the Ruthenians were conquered...
    2. A piece used for striking sparks from flint.
      • c. 1220, Bestiary, 535:
        Of ston mid stel in ðe tunder wel to brennen one ðis wunder.
      • 1660, Robert Boyle, New Experiments Physico-mechanicall, XIV89:
        The Cock falling with its wonted violence upon the Steel.
    3. Armor.
    4. A honing steel, a tool used to sharpen or hone metal blades.
      • 1541 in 1844, J. Stuart, Extracts of the Council Register of Aberdeen, I176:
        The steill to scherp the schawing jrne.
      • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, V:
        When he came to Nottingham, he entered that part of the market where butchers stood, and took up his inn in the best place he could find. Next, he opened his stall and spread his meat upon the bench, then, taking his cleaver and steel and clattering them together, he trolled aloud in merry tones...
    5. (sewing) Pieces used to strengthen, support, or expand an item of clothing.
      • 1608, G. Markham & al., Dumbe Knight, I:
        I haue a ruffe is a quarter deep, measured by the yeard... You haue a pretty set too, how big is the steele you set with?
      • 1904 Feb 22, Daily Chron, 54:
        I suppose the bullet must have struck the steels in my corsets.
    6. (dialectal) A flat iron.
      • 1638, J. Taylor, Bull, Beare, & Horse, C5:
        One of them having occasion to use a Steele, smoothing Iron, or some such kinde of Laundry Instrument.
    7. (sewing, dialectal) A sewing needle; a knitting needle; a sharp metal stylus.
      • 1785, William Cowper, Task, IV165:
        The threaded steel...Flies swiftly.
    8. (printing) An engraving plate:
      • 1843, J. Ballantine, The gaberlunzie's wallet. With numerous illustrations on steel and wood.
      • 1887 Jun 11, Athenæum, 7791:
        A re-issue of the Examples of the Architecture of Venice. By John Ruskin... With the Text, and the 16 Plates (10 Steels and 6 Lithographs) as originally published.
    9. Projectiles.
      • 1898 Jun 1, Westminster Gazette, 51:
        The crews at the port batteries were pumping steel at the enemy.
    10. (sewing) A fringe of beads or decoration of this metal.
      • 1899 Jan 26, Daily News, 63:
        A trailing skirt embroidered in what is termed fine steel.
    11. (music, guitar) A type of slide used while playing the steel guitar.
  3. (uncountable, medicine, obsolete) Medicinal consumption of this metal; chalybeate medicine; (eventually) any iron or iron-treated water consumed as a medical treatment.
    • 1649, H. Hammond, Christians Obligations, X253:
      A stronger physick is now necessary, perhaps a whole course of steel: A physick, God knowes, that this Kingdome hath been under five or six yeares.
    • 1704, J. Harris, Lexicon Technicum, L:
      Steel is not so good as Iron for Medicinal Operation.
    • 1712 Sept 18, Jonathan Swift, Journal to Stella, II558:
      The Doctor tells me I must go into a Course of Steel, tho I have not the Spleen.
    • 1866, Princess Alice, Mem., 158:
      I...am really only kept alive by steel.
  4. (countable) Varieties of this metal.
    • 1839, A. Ure, Dict. Arts, 1172:
      The bars are exposed to two or three successive processes of cementation, and are hence said to be twice or thrice converted into steels.
  5. (uncountable, colors) The gray hue of this metal; steel-gray.
    • 1851 Dec 28, E. Ruskin, letter in 1965, M. Lutyens, Effie in Venice, II236:
      Falkenhayn gave...to Jane a steel glacé silk dress.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 132:
      It was a clear steel-blue day. The firmaments of air and sea were hardly separable in that all-pervading azure; only, the pensive air was transparently pure and soft, with a woman’s look, and the robust and man-like sea heaved with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson’s chest in his sleep.
Derived terms
Translations

Adjective

steel (not comparable)

  1. Made of steel.
    • mid-14th century, Alisaunder, 416:
      Strained in stel ger on steedes of might.
    • c. 1616, William Shakespeare, Othello, Iiii229
      The tyrant custome...Hath made the flinty and steele Cooch of warre, My thrice driuen bed of downe.
    • 1829, Walter Scott, Anne of Geierstein, IIIiii78:
      I will grasp the mountain-hedgehog, prickles and all, with my steel-gauntlet.
    • 1976, J. Wheeler-Bennett, Friends, Enemies, & Sovereigns, V156:
      King Peter attributed his father's, King Alexander's, death to the fact that...he had not worn his steel-mesh bullet-proof shirt.
  2. Similar to steel in color, strength, or the like; steely.
    • c. 1560, T. Phaer translating Vergil, Nyne Fyrst Books of the Eneidos, X:
      Wher neuer cessing soyle doth steelebright stuff send out from mines.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXXXIII:
      Prison my heart in thy steele bosomes warde.
  3. (business) Of or belonging to the manufacture or trade in steel.
    • 1601, Philemon Holland translating Pliny, The Historie of the World, Iviilvi188:
      ...The discoverie of the yron and steele mines.
    • 1837, Thomas Carlyle, French Revolution: A History, IIIvvi327:
      From their new dungeons at Chantilly, Aristocrats may hear the rustle of our new steel furnace there.
    • 1976 Jan 24, National Observer, 11:
      East Chicago, Ind., a smoky Lake Michigan steel town that isn't exactly famous for its esthetic splendor even when the sun shines.
  4. (medicine, obsolete) Containing steel.
    • 1652, J. French, York-shire Spaw, X92:
      To mix some Sugar of steel, or steel wine with the first glass.
    • 1675, G. Harvey, Dis. of London, XXIV264:
      I have found a singular Virtue in Steel drops, præpared after my Mode.
    • 1713 Feb 17, Jonathan Swift, Journal to Stella, II622:
      I...take some nasty steel drops, & may head has been bettr.
  5. (printing) Engraved on steel.
    • 1880, Mark Twain, letter:
      The best picture I have had yet is the steel frontis-piece to my new book.
Translations

Verb

steel (third-person singular simple present steels, present participle steeling, simple past and past participle steeled)

  1. (transitive) To edge, cover, or point with steel.
    • c. 1240, Sawles Warde in The Cotton Homilies, 253:
      Hure þolien ant a beoren hare unirude duntes wið mealles istelet.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Richard III, Ii148:
      • Ile in to vrge his hatred more to Clarence, With lies well steeld with weighty arguments.
    • 1651, Bishop Jeremy Taylor, XXVIII Sermons Preacht at Golden Grove, Being for the Summer Half-year, XIX248:
      When God...draws aside his curtain, and shows his arsenal and his armory, full of arrows steeled with wrath.
    • 1831, John Holland, A Treatise on the Progressive Improvement and Present State of the Manufactures in Metal, I220:
      It was the common notion...that the art of steeling tools in the highest degree of perfection was certainly lost to the moderns.
  2. (transitive) To harden or strengthen; to nerve or make obdurate; to fortify against.
    • 1581, A. Hall translating Homer, 10 Bks. Iliades, VI110:
      But stil he was so steelde With heart so good, as victor he dead left them in the field.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Venus & Adonis:
      Giue me my heart...O giue it me lest thy hard heart do steele it, And being steeld, soft sighes can neuer graue it.
    • 1796, F. Burney, Camilla, IIivvi370:
      Steel yourself, then, firmly to withstand attacks from the cruel and unfeeling.
    • 1882, F. W. Farrar, Early Days Christianity, II380:
      The rich experience of a long life steeled in the victorious struggle with every unchristian element.
  3. (transitive, obsolete, of mirrors) To back with steel.
    • c. 1630, John Donne, Sermons, VI289:
      Nay, a Crystall glasse will not show a man his face, except it be steeled, except it be darkned on the backside.
  4. (transitive, medicine, obsolete) To treat a liquid with steel for medicinal purposes.
    • 1657, J. Cooke translating J. Hall, Cures, 117:
      She drunk her drink steeled, with which she was cured.
  5. (transitive, dialectal) To press with a flat iron.
    • 1746, Exmoor Scolding 3rd ed., II14:
      Tha hasn't tha Sense to stile thy own Dressing.
  6. (transitive, uncommon) To cause to resemble steel in appearance.
    • 1807, William Wordsworth, Sonn. to Liberty, IIv:
      And lo! those waters, steeled By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield A vivid repetition of the stars.
  7. (transitive) To steelify; to turn iron into steel.
    • 1853 in Jrnl. Franklin Inst., CXXV303:
      By passing an electric current thus through the bars the operation of steeling is much hastened.
    • 1977 Oct, Scientific American, 1271:
      It seems evident that by the beginning of the 10th century B.C. blacksmiths were intentionally steeling iron.
  8. (transitive) To electroplate an item, particularly an engraving plate, with a layer of iron.
    • 1880, P. G. Hamerton, Etching & Etchers 3rd ed., 342:
      My large dry-point,...called Two Stumps of Driftwood, gave 1000 copies (after being steeled) without perceptible wearing.
  9. (transitive) To sharpen with a honing steel.

Etymology 2

From French Bastille (a French prison).[3]

Proper noun

steel

  1. (Britain, crime, slang, obsolete) Coldbath Fields Prison in London, closed in 1877.
    • 1862, Havelock Ellis, The Criminal, page 162:
      I was lugged before the beak, who gave me six doss in the steel. [...] six months in the Bastille (the old House of Corrections), Coldbath Fields.
    • 1866, George Augustus Sala, Edmund Hodgson Yates, Temple Bar, volume 16, page 507:
      He said he had been in the “steel” (Coldbath Fields Prison) eight times.
    • 1879, Macmillan's Magazine, volume 40, page 502:
      This time I got two moon for assaulting the reelers when canon. For this I went to the Steel (Bastile[sic] — Coldbath Fields Prison), having a new suit of clobber on me and about fifty blow in my brigh (pocket).
References
  • 1811, Lexicon Balatronicum: Steel, the house of correction.
  • 1819, J. H. Vaux, New Vocab. Flash Lang. in Mem.: Bastile, generally called for shortnes, the steel a cant name for the House of Correction, Cold-Bath-Fields, London.

Anagrams

References

  1. Oxford English Dictionary, "Steel, n. 1" & "v."
  2. steel” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  3. Oxford English Dictionary. "Steel, n. 2".

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -eːl
  • IPA(key): /steːl/

Noun

steel m (plural stelen, diminutive steeltje n)

  1. stem (of a plant)
  2. handle (of a broom, a pan)

Synonyms

Derived terms

Verb

steel

  1. first-person singular present indicative of stelen
  2. imperative of stelen

Anagrams