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
  1. noun
    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
  2. noun
    a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard
    synonyms: blade, brand, sword
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    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
  3. noun
    knife sharpener consisting of a ridged steel rod
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    type of:
    any implement that is used to make something (an edge or a point) sharper
  4. verb
    cover, plate, or edge with steel
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    type of:
    provide with a covering or cause to be covered
  5. verb
    get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
    synonyms: nerve
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    type of:
    brace, poise
    prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult
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