Etymology
Advertisement
steel (n.)
modified form of iron with a small portion of carbon, not found in nature but known in ancient times, Old English style "steel," from noun use of Proto-Germanic adjective *stakhlijan "made of steel" (source also of Old Saxon stehli, Old Norse, Middle Low German stal, Danish staal, Swedish stål, Middle Dutch stael, Dutch staal, Old High German stahal, German Stahl), related to *stakhla "standing fast," from PIE *stek-lo-, from root *stak- "to stand, place, be firm" (see stay (n.1)). The notion is perhaps "that which stands firm." No corresponding word exists outside Germanic except those likely borrowed from Germanic languages.

As an adjective from c. 1200 (Old English used stylen "*steel-en." Steel wool is attested from 1896. Steel drum is from 1952.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
steel (v.)
"make hard or strong like steel," 1580s, earliest use is figurative, from steel (n.). Old English lacked the verb but had styled "made of steel." Related: Steeled; steeling.
Related entries & more 
steely (adj.)
1580s, "made of steel," from steel (n.) + -y (2). Figurative meaning "hard and cold as steel" is from c. 1500. Related: Steeliness.
Related entries & more 
stainless (adj.)
1580s, from stain (n.) + -less. Related: Stainlessly. Stainless steel is from 1917, a chromium-steel alloy (usually 14% chromium) used for cutlery, etc., so called because it is highly resistant to rust or tarnish.
Related entries & more 
rebar (n.)

also re-bar, "steel reinforcing rod in concrete," 1961, from re(inforced)bar (n.1).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
basinet (n.)
"small, light, rounded steel headpiece," c. 1300, from Old French bacinet, bassinet, diminutive of bacin (see basin).
Related entries & more 
armor-plate (n.)

"metallic plate, usually of iron or steel, attached to the side of a ship or the outer wall of a fort to render it shot-proof," 1860, from armor + plate (n.).

Related entries & more 
Stalin 
Russian, literally "steel," assumed name of Soviet Communist Party and Soviet Union leader Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (1879-1953). Also see Molotov.
Related entries & more 
fusilier (n.)
also fusileer, 1670s, "soldier armed with a musket," from French fusilier "musket" (17c.), literally "piece of steel against which a flint strikes flame," from Old French fuisil, foisil "steel for striking fire; flint; whetstone; grindstone" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *focilis (petra) "(stone) producing fire," from Latin focus "hearth," in Vulgar Latin "fire" (see focus (n.)). Retained by certain regiments of the British army that were formerly armed with fusils.
Related entries & more 
tempered (adj.)
1650s, "brought to desired hardness" (of metals, especially steel), past-participle adjective from temper (v.). Meaning "toned down by admixture" is from 1650s; of music or musical instruments, "tuned," from 1727.
Related entries & more