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

  • adj. Made of steel.
  • adj. Resembling steel, as in color or hardness: steely eyes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having qualities resembling those of steel, especially hard and resolute.
  • adj. Made of steel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made of steel; consisting of steel.
  • adj. Resembling steel; hard; firm; having the color of steel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Consisting of steel; made of steel.
  • Resembling steel in some of its essential properties; hard; firm; stubborn.
  • Resembling steel in color, metallic luster, or general appearance; having more or less imperfectly the qualities or composition of steel: as, steely iron.

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

  • adj. resembling steel in hardness
  • adj. resembling steel as in hardness


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • "'I am as serious as the grave,' Bill said, and he sounded so steely, I made a major effort to change my attitude. -Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

    February 5, 2011