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metal (n.)

an undecomposable elementary substance having certain recognizable qualities (opacity, conductivity, plasticity, high specific gravity, etc.), mid-13c., from Old French metal "metal; material, substance, stuff" (12c.), from Latin metallum "metal, mineral; mine, quarry," from Greek metallon "metal, ore" (senses found only in post-classical texts, via the notion of "what is got by mining"); originally "mine, quarry-pit," probably a back-formation from metalleuein "to mine, to quarry," a word of unknown origin. Perhaps related somehow to metallan "to seek after," but Beekes finds this "hardly convincing."

The concept was based on the metals known from antiquity: gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin. As an adjective, "of or covered with metal," from late 14c. As short for heavy metal (rock music) by 1980. Metal-work "work, especially artistic work, in metal" is by 1724.

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Definitions of metal from WordNet
1
metal (n.)
any of several chemical elements that are usually shiny solids that conduct heat or electricity and can be formed into sheets etc.;
Synonyms: metallic element
metal (n.)
a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten;
Synonyms: alloy
2
metal (v.)
cover with metal;
3
metal (adj.)
containing or made of or resembling or characteristic of a metal; "the strange metallic note of the meadow lark, suggesting the clash of vibrant blades"- Ambrose Bierce;
Synonyms: metallic
From wordnet.princeton.edu