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zinc

Zinc is a type of metal that's used to make brass. Zinc is also present in some of the food we eat, and it's important for helping our bodies fight off bad bacteria and viruses.

In its basic form, zinc is a brittle, bluish-white metal. Along with copper, it's used to make the brass for light fixtures, doorknobs, and tools, among many other things. Pennies contain zinc too — since 1982, they contain 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. There's also zinc in our bodies, and in food including shellfish, meat, and seeds. The word zinc is believed to come from the German Zinke, "point," in reference to the spiked shape of a zinc crystal.

Definitions of zinc
  1. noun
    a bluish-white lustrous metallic element; brittle at ordinary temperatures but malleable when heated; used in a wide variety of alloys and in galvanizing iron; it occurs naturally as zinc sulphide in zinc blende
    synonyms: Zn, atomic number 30
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    types:
    spelter
    impure zinc containing about three percent lead and other impurities (especially in the form of ingots)
    type of:
    metal, metallic element
    any of several chemical elements that are usually shiny solids that conduct heat or electricity and can be formed into sheets etc.
  2. verb
    coat or cover with zinc
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    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
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