Etymology
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amalgam (n.)

c. 1400, "a blend of mercury with another metal; soft mass formed by chemical manipulation," from Old French amalgame or directly from Medieval Latin amalgama, "alloy of mercury (especially with gold or silver)," c. 1300, an alchemists' word, probably from Arabic al-malgham "an emollient poultice or unguent for sores (especially warm)" [Francis Johnson, "A Dictionary of Persian, Arabic, and English"], which is itself perhaps from Greek malagma "softening substance," from malassein "to soften," from malakos "soft" (from PIE *meldh-, from root *mel- (1) "soft"). Figurative meaning "compound of different things" is from 1790.

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Definitions of amalgam

amalgam (n.)
an alloy of mercury with another metal (usually silver) used by dentists to fill cavities in teeth; except for iron and platinum all metals dissolve in mercury and chemists refer to the resulting mercury mixtures as amalgams;
Synonyms: dental amalgam
amalgam (n.)
a combination or blend of diverse things;
his theory is an amalgam of earlier ideas
From wordnet.princeton.edu