alloy

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
  1. noun
    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”
    synonyms: metal
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    types:
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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
    Alnico
    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
    electrum
    an alloy of gold and silver
    pewter
    any of various alloys of tin with small amounts of other metals (especially lead)
    pinchbeck
    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
    solder
    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
    Carboloy
    an alloy based on tungsten with cobalt or nickel as a binder; used in making metal-cutting tools
    steel
    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
    Duralumin
    an aluminum-based alloy
    Inconel
    a nickel-base alloy with chromium and iron; used in gas-turbine blades
    Invar
    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
    Stellite
    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
    brass
    an alloy of copper and zinc
    bronze
    an alloy of copper and tin and sometimes other elements; also any copper-base alloy containing other elements in place of tin
    cupronickel
    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
    ferrocerium
    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
    Nichrome
    an alloy of nickel and chromium with high electrical resistance and an ability to withstand high temperatures; used for resistance heating elements
    Permalloy
    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:
    mixture
    (chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)
  2. noun
    the state of impairing the quality or reducing the value of something
    synonyms: admixture
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    type of:
    impureness, impurity
    the condition of being impure
  3. verb
    make an alloy of
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    type of:
    blend, coalesce, combine, commingle, conflate, flux, fuse, immix, meld, merge, mix
    mix together different elements
  4. verb
    lower in value by increasing the base-metal content
    synonyms: debase
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    type of:
    devalue
    lower the value or quality of
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