Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A metallic solid or liquid that is composed of a homogeneous mixture of two or more metals or of metals and nonmetal or metalloid elements, usually for the purpose of imparting or increasing specific characteristics or properties.
  • noun A mixture; an amalgam.
  • noun The relative degree of mixture with a base metal; fineness.
  • noun Something added that lowers value or purity.
  • transitive verb To combine (metals) to form an alloy.
  • transitive verb To combine; mix.
  • transitive verb To debase by the addition of an inferior element.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To mix (two or more metals) so as to form a compound, without reference to the relative value of the metals mixed.
  • To reduce to a desired standard or quality by mixing with a less valuable metal: as, to alloy gold or silver with copper.
  • Figuratively, to debase or reduce in character or condition by admixture; impair by the intrusion of a base or alien element; contaminate; modify: as, external prosperity alloyed by domestic trials.
  • To enter into combination, as one metal with another.
  • Formerly written allay.
  • noun A metallic alloy possesses the general physical properties of a metal, but is usually intermediate in properties between those of its constituents. Alloys are divided into three classes: Those which form solid solutions in all proportions;
  • noun those which do not form solid solutions in all proportions, and which form no chemical compounds; and
  • noun those which form one or more chemical compounds. An alloy of the first class forms a homogeneous fluid when melted, and a homogeneous solid after freezing. Alloys of the second class form a homogeneous fluid when melted, but on, solidification the components separate from oue another and form microscopic crystals of the different metals intimately associated, but not in chemical combination or solution. A highly magnified section of such an alloy would not show a homogeneous structure, but the individual crystals of the pure components could be distinguished. Alloys of the third class follow the same general laws on solidification as the alloys of the second class, but the crystals which separate do not consist of the pure components, but some of the crystals will be of one or more of the pure components, while other crystals will be formed of chemical compounds of the different components.
  • noun An artificial compound of two or more metals combined while in a state of fusion, as of copper and tin, which form bronze, or of lead and antimony, which form type-metal.
  • noun An inferior metal mixed with one of greater value.
  • noun Standard; quality; fineness.
  • noun Figuratively, admixture, as of good with evil; a deleterious mixture or element; taint: as, no earthly happiness is without alloy.
  • noun Formerly written allay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any combination or compound of metals fused together; a mixture of metals; for example, brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc. But when mercury is one of the metals, the compound is called an amalgam.
  • noun The quality, or comparative purity, of gold or silver; fineness.
  • noun A baser metal mixed with a finer.
  • noun Admixture of anything which lessens the value or detracts from.
  • transitive verb To form a metallic compound.
  • transitive verb To reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable substance.
  • transitive verb To mix, as metals, so as to form a compound.
  • transitive verb To abate, impair, or debase by mixture; to allay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A metal that is a combination of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal.
  • noun An admixture; something added which stains, taints etc.
  • verb To mix or combine; often used of metals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten
  • verb make an alloy of
  • verb lower in value by increasing the base-metal content
  • noun the state of impairing the quality or reducing the value of something

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration (influenced by French aloi) of obsolete allay, from Middle English alay, from Old North French allai, from allayer, to alloy, from Latin alligāre, to bind : ad-, ad- + ligāre, to bind; see leig- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman alai, from Old French aloi, from aloiier.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French aloiier ("assemble, join"), from Latin alligare ("bind to, tie to"), compound of ad ("to") + ligare ("to bind").

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