You may have heard of aluminum alloy on a car. What that means is that there is another metal mixed in with the aluminum, to save money and/or to strengthen the wheels. The wheels are an alloy (a mix), rather than pure.

In addition to indicating a dilution of one metal with another, alloy can refer to the dilution of a feeling or a quality. Knowing that you look awesome in your Halloween costume would be an alloy to the embarrassment of showing up to a party where you are the only one in a costume.

Definitions of alloy

n a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten

“brass is an alloy of zinc and copper”
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heavy metal
a metal of relatively high density (specific gravity greater than about 5) or of high relative atomic weight (especially one that is poisonous like mercury or lead)
18-karat gold
an alloy that contains 75 per cent gold
22-karat gold
an alloy that contains 87 per cent gold
oreide, oroide
alloy of copper and tin and zinc; used in imitation gold jewelry
trade name for an alloy used to make high-energy permanent magnets; contains aluminum and iron and nickel plus cobalt or copper or titanium
amalgam, dental amalgam
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
fusible metal
an alloy with a low melting point and used as solder and in safety plugs and sprinkler fuses
an alloy of gold and silver
any of various alloys of tin with small amounts of other metals (especially lead)
an alloy of copper and zinc that is used in cheap jewelry to imitate gold
pot metal
an alloy of copper and lead used especially for making large pots
an alloy (usually of lead and tin) used when melted to join two metal surfaces
white gold
a pale alloy of gold usually with platinum or nickel or palladium
type metal
an alloy of tin and lead and antimony used to make printing type
bearing metal, white metal
an alloy (often of lead or tin base) used for bearings
Babbitt metal, babbitt
an alloy of tin with some copper and antimony; a lining for bearings that reduces friction
Britannia metal
an alloy similar to pewter
an alloy based on tungsten with cobalt or nickel as a binder; used in making metal-cutting tools
an alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon; widely used in construction; mechanical properties can be varied over a wide range
cheoplastic metal
any alloy that fuses at low temperatures and can be used molding artificial teeth
copper-base alloy
any alloy whose principal component is copper
dental gold
an alloy of gold used in dentistry
an aluminum-based alloy
a nickel-base alloy with chromium and iron; used in gas-turbine blades
an alloy of iron and nickel having a low coefficient of thermal expansion; used in tuning forks and measuring tapes and other instruments
nickel alloy, nickel-base alloy
an alloy whose main constituent is nickel
German silver, nickel silver
a silver-white alloy containing copper and zinc and nickel
pyrophoric alloy
an alloy that emits sparks when struck or scratched with steel; used in lighter flints
shot metal
an alloy that is 98% lead and 2% arsenic; used in making small shot
a very hard alloy of cobalt and chromium with cobalt as the principal ingredient; used to make cutting tools and for surfaces subject to heavy wear
sterling silver
a silver alloy with no more than 7.5% copper
tambac, tombac, tombak
an alloy of copper and zinc (and sometimes arsenic) used to imitate gold in cheap jewelry and for gilding
Wood's alloy, Wood's metal
a fusible alloy that is half bismuth plus lead, tin, and cadmium; melts at about 160 degrees Fahrenheit
slug, type slug
a strip of type metal used for spacing
alloy steel
steel who characteristics are determined by the addition of other elements in addition to carbon
an alloy of copper and zinc
an alloy of copper and tin and sometimes other elements; also any copper-base alloy containing other elements in place of tin
a 60/40 alloy of copper and nickel
hard solder
solder that contains copper; melts at a relatively high temperature; used for brazing
silver solder
a solder that contains silver
soft solder
solder that melts at a relatively low temperature
Monel metal, Monell metal
an alloy of nickel and copper and other metals (such as iron and/or manganese and/or aluminum)
aluminium bronze, aluminum bronze
an alloy of copper and aluminum with high tensile strength and resistance to corrosion
austenitic steel
steel that has enough nickel and chromium or manganese to retain austenite at atmospheric temperatures
case-hardened steel
steel with a surface that is much harder than the interior metal
carbon steel
steel whose characteristics are determined by the amount of carbon it contains
crucible steel
steel made by the mixture of molten wrought iron, charcoal, and other substances in a crucible
Damascus steel, Damask steel
a hard resilient steel often decorated and used for sword blades
chisel steel
steel used in making chisels
Eureka, constantan
an alloy of copper and nickel with high electrical resistance and a low temperature coefficient; used as resistance wire
a pyrophoric alloy of iron with cerium; used for lighter flints
hard steel
steel with more than 0.3% carbon
medium steel
steel with 0.15-0.3% carbon
low-carbon steel, mild steel, soft-cast steel
steel with less than 0.15% carbon
misch metal
a pyrophoric alloy made from a mixture of rare-earth metals
an alloy of nickel and chromium with high electrical resistance and an ability to withstand high temperatures; used for resistance heating elements
an 80/20 alloy of nickel and iron; easily magnetized and demagnetized
quenched steel
steel that has been hardened by immersing it in water or oil to cool it
structural steel
a strong steel that is rolled into shapes that are used in construction
Type of:
(chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)

n the state of impairing the quality or reducing the value of something

Type of:
impureness, impurity
the condition of being impure

v make an alloy of

Type of:
blend, coalesce, combine, commingle, conflate, flux, fuse, immix, meld, merge, mix
mix together different elements

v lower in value by increasing the base-metal content

Type of:
lower the value or quality of

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