Definitions

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

  • n. A homogeneous mixture or solid solution of two or more metals, the atoms of one replacing or occupying interstitial positions between the atoms of the other: Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper.
  • n. A mixture; an amalgam: "Television news has . . . always been an alloy of journalism and show business” ( Bill Moyers).
  • n. The relative degree of mixture with a base metal; fineness.
  • n. Something added that lowers value or purity.
  • transitive v. To combine (metals) to form an alloy.
  • transitive v. To combine; mix: idealism that was alloyed with political skill.
  • transitive v. To debase by the addition of an inferior element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. The quality, or comparative purity, of gold or silver; fineness.
  • n. A baser metal mixed with a finer.
  • n. Admixture of anything which lessens the value or detracts from.
  • transitive v. To reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable substance.
  • transitive v. To mix, as metals, so as to form a compound.
  • transitive v. To abate, impair, or debase by mixture; to allay.
  • transitive v. To form a metallic compound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An inferior metal mixed with one of greater value.
  • n. Standard; quality; fineness.
  • n. Figuratively, admixture, as of good with evil; a deleterious mixture or element; taint: as, no earthly happiness is without alloy.
  • n. Formerly written allay.
  • n. 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;
  • n. those which do not form solid solutions in all proportions, and which form no chemical compounds; and
  • n. 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.

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

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

Etymologies

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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman alai, from Old French aloi, from aloiier. (Wiktionary)
From Old French aloiier ("assemble, join"), from Latin alligare ("bind to, tie to"), compound of ad ("to") + ligare ("to bind"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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