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Definition of "mercury" []

  • A silvery-white poisonous metallic element, liquid at room temperature and used in thermometers, barometers, vapor lamps, and batteries and in the preparation of chemical pesticides. Atomic number 80; atomic weight 200.59; melting point -38.87°C; boiling point 356.58°C; specific gravity 13.546 (at 20°C); valence 1, 2. Also called quicksilver. See Table at element. (noun)
  • Temperature: The mercury had fallen rapidly by morning. (noun)
  • Any of several weedy plants of the genera Mercurialis or Acalypha. (noun)

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.

Use "mercury" in a sentence
  • "This applies particularly to salts of mercury, such as _corrosive sublimate_ or mercuric chloride, and _biniodide of mercury_, both of which have very considerable germicidal power, and are consequently frequently added to soaps."
  • "The alchemists thought that to every thing, or at any rate to every class of things, there corresponds a more perfect form than that which we see and handle; they spoke of gold, and the _gold of the Sages_; mercury, and the _mercury of the Philosophers_; sulphur, and the"
  • "In addition, the mercury is contained – i.e. it can be recycled or disposed of properly (vs. mercury from a power plant that is put into the air we breath)."