A soft, bluish-white metallic element occurring primarily in zinc, copper, and lead ores, that is easily cut with a knife and is used in low-friction, fatigue-resistant alloys, solders, dental amalgams, nickel-cadmium storage batteries, nuclear reactor shields, and in rustproof electroplating. Atomic number 48; atomic weight 112.41; melting point 320.9°C; boiling point 765°C; specific gravity 8.65; valence 2. See Table at element.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.