Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of steel
Meaning of steel by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Middle English stele, stel, from Old English ( North ) stēle, ( South ) stȳle, from Proto-Germanic *stahlijan ( cf. West Frisian stiel ), enlargement of *stahlan ( cf. Dutch staal, German Stahl, Danish stål ) from Proto-Indo-European *stak- ‘to stay, be firm’ ( cf. Umbrian stakaz ‘upright, erected’, Avestan staxra ‘strong’, Sanskrit ( stákati ) ‘resist, strike against’ ) .


    • enPR: stēl, IPA: /stiːl/, X-SAMPA: /sti:l/
    • Rhymes: -iːl
    • Homophone: steal, stele


    steel ( countable and uncountable; plural: steels )

    1. ( uncountable, countable ) A metal alloy of mostly iron plus carbon, harder than pure elemental iron but malleable when hot .
    2. ( countable ) A tool used to sharpen or hone knives; a honing steel.
    3. ( countable ) A sword .
    4. ( music, guitar ) A type of slide used in the practice of steel guitar .
    5. ( uncountable, figuratively ) Hardness; strength in adversity; mettle.


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

    1. To harden .
      The harsh fall weather steeled them against the colder winter .
    2. To cover with steel
    3. To hone with a honing steel .


    See also

    “steel” in the Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 2001

Explanation of steel by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. cover, plate, or edge with steel

    2. get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

    1. knife sharpener consisting of a ridged steel rod

    2. a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard

    3. an alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon

    Definition of steel by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Steel ( stēl ), n. [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 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.

      An instrument of steel ( usually a round rod ) for sharpening knives.

      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. ( Firearms ) See Wheel lock, under Wheel. A mill which has steel grinding surfaces. 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.

    2. Steel ( stēl ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Steeled ( stēld ); p. pr. & vb. n. Steeling.] [AS. stȳlan: cf. Icel. staela. See Steel, n.]
      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. Shak.

      O God of battles! steel my soldiers' hearts. Shak.

      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.