Steel is a kind of metal alloy that's made of iron and carbon. It's known for being incredibly strong and is often used to build the framework of skyscrapers. It's also helpful to have "nerves of steel."

Steel isn't just a kind of metal. A steel can also be the long, rough thing you sharpen knives on. Or if you're one of the Three Musketeers, you probably carry a steel, or a sword. People who are really brave have nerves of steel. And if you want to use steel as a verb, go right ahead: if there's something hard or unpleasant ahead, you'll need to steel yourself to get ready for it.

Definitions of steel

n an alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon; widely used in construction; mechanical properties can be varied over a wide range

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alloy steel
steel who characteristics are determined by the addition of other elements in addition to carbon
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
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
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
chromium steel, stainless, stainless steel
steel containing chromium that makes it resistant to corrosion
Elinvar, chrome-nickel steel
Elinvar is a trademark for a kind of steel used for watch springs because its elasticity is constant over a wide range of temperatures
chrome-tungsten steel
a steel alloy made with chromium and tungsten
drill rod, drill steel
carbon steel used for rock drills and dowels
eutectoid steel
a steel that contains 0.9% carbon (the eutectic point); a carbon steel with 0.9% carbon is pure pearlite
hyper-eutectoid steel
a steel that contains more than 0.9% carbon
hypo-eutectoid steel
a steel that contains less that 0.9% carbon
austenitic manganese steel, manganese steel
a steel with a relatively large component (10-14%) of manganese; highly resistant to wear and shock
molybdenum steel
steel containing 10-15% molybdenum; properties are similar to tungsten steel
nickel steel
an alloy steel containing nickel
oil-hardened steel
steel that is quenched in oil
tool steel
alloy steel that is suitable for making tools; is hard and tough and can retain a cutting edge
tungsten steel, wolfram steel
a very hard heat-resistant steel containing tungsten
vanadium steel
steel alloyed with vanadium for greater strength and high-temperature stability
Type of:
alloy, metal
a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten

n a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard

blade, brand, sword
the legendary sword of King Arthur
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a sword with only one cutting edge
a sword with a broad blade and (usually) two cutting edges; used to cut rather than stab
cavalry sword, saber, sabre
a stout sword with a curved blade and thick back
cutlas, cutlass
a short heavy curved sword with one edge; formerly used by sailors
a short broad slightly convex medieval sword with a sharp point
fencing sword
a sword used in the sport of fencing
rapier, tuck
a straight sword with a narrow blade and two edges
a large double-edged broadsword; formerly used by Scottish Highlanders
a fencing sword similar to a foil but with a heavier blade
a light slender flexible sword tipped by a button
saber, sabre
a fencing sword with a v-shaped blade and a slightly curved handle
a curved oriental saber; the edge is on the convex side of the blade
Type of:
arm, weapon, weapon system
any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting

n knife sharpener consisting of a ridged steel rod

Type of:
any implement that is used to make something (an edge or a point) sharper

v cover, plate, or edge with steel

Type of:
provide with a covering or cause to be covered

v get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

Type of:
brace, poise
prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult

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