Definitions

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

  • adjective Unpredictable; mercurial.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To overlay with quicksilver; treat with quicksilver: chiefly used in the past and present participles.
  • noun The common popular designation of the metal mercury. See mercury, 6, and mercurial.
  • noun A term popularly applied to the amalgam of mercury and tin on the back of a common mirror.

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

  • noun (Chem.) The metal mercury; -- so called from its resemblance to liquid silver.
  • noun a mercurial artificial horizon. See under Horizon.
  • noun a solution of mercury nitrate used in artificial silvering; quick water.

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

  • noun The metal mercury.
  • noun colloquial An amalgam of mercury and tin applied to the backs of mirrors, quicksilvering.
  • adjective Unpredictable, erratic or fickle; mercurial.
  • verb To overlay with quicksilver.
  • verb To treat with quicksilver.

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

  • adjective liable to sudden unpredictable change
  • noun a heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element; the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English cwicseolfor, living silver (translation of Latin argentum vīvum) : cwic, cwicu, alive; see gwei- in Indo-European roots + seolfor, silver; see silver.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English quyksilver, from Old English cwicseolfor. Literally "living silver" from its ability to move. See quick in the sense of living.

Examples

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