- a substance composed of two or more metals, or of a metal or metals with a nonmetal, intimately mixed, as by fusion or electrodeposition.
- a less costly metal mixed with a more valuable one.
- standard; quality; fineness.
- admixture, as of good with evil.
- anything added that serves to reduce quality or purity.
verb (used with object)
- to mix (metals or metal with nonmetal) so as to form an alloy.
- to reduce in value by an admixture of a less costly metal.
- to debase, impair, or reduce by admixture; adulterate.
noun (ˈælɔɪ, əˈlɔɪ)
- a metallic material, such as steel, brass, or bronze, consisting of a mixture of two or more metals or of metallic elements with nonmetallic elements. Alloys often have physical properties markedly different from those of the pure metals
- something that impairs the quality or reduces the value of the thing to which it is added
verb (əˈlɔɪ) (tr)
- to add (one metal or element to another metal or element) to obtain a substance with a desired property
- to debase (a pure substance) by mixing with an inferior element
- to diminish or impair
c.1400, “mix with a baser metal,” from Old French aloiier “assemble, join,” from Latin alligare “bind to, tie to,” compound of ad- “to” (see ad-) + ligare “to bind” (see ligament); hence “bind one thing to another.” Related: Alloyed; alloying.
early 14c. “relative freedom of a noble metal from alloy or other impurities,” from Anglo-French alai, Old French aloi, from aloiier (see alloy (v.)). Meaning ” base metal alloyed with a noble metal” is from c.1400. Modern spelling from late 17c.
- 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.
- A metallic substance made by mixing and fusing two or more metals, or a metal and a nonmetal, to obtain desirable qualities such as hardness, lightness, and strength. Brass, bronze, and steel are all alloys.
A material made of two or more metals, or of a metal and another material. For example, brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Alloys often have unexpected characteristics. In the examples given above, brass is stronger than either copper or zinc, and steel is stronger than either iron or carbon.