amalgam

[uh-mal-guhm]
noun
1.
an alloy of mercury with another metal or metals.
2.
an alloy that consists chiefly of silver mixed with mercury and variable amounts of other metals and is used as a dental filling.
3.
a rare mineral, an alloy of silver and mercury, occurring as silver-white crystals or grains.
4.
a mixture or combination: His character is a strange amalgam of contradictory traits.

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English amalgam(e) < Middle French < Medieval Latin < dialectal Arabic al the + malgham < Greek málagma softening agent, equivalent to malak- (stem of malássein to soften) + -ma noun suffix

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Collins
World English Dictionary
amalgam (əˈmælɡəm)
 
n
1.  an alloy of mercury with another metal, esp with silver: dental amalgam
2.  a rare white metallic mineral that consists of silver and mercury and occurs in deposits of silver and cinnabar
3.  a blend or combination
 
[C15: from Medieval Latin amalgama, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

amalgam
mid-15c., "soft mass formed by chemical manipulation," from M.L. amalgama, "alloy of mercury (esp. with gold or silver)," an alchemists' word, perhaps an alt. of L. malagma "poultice, plaster," from Gk. malagma "softening substance," from malassein "to soften," from malakos "soft." The word may have
come from Gk. via Syrian Arabic al-malgham.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

amalgam a·mal·gam (ə-māl'gəm)
n.
Any of various alloys of mercury with other metals, as with tin or silver, used for filling teeth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
amalgam   (ə-māl'gəm)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An alloy of mercury and another metal, especially:

  2. An alloy of mercury and silver used in dental fillings.

  3. An alloy of silver and tin used in silvering mirrors.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Samurai meets spaghetti western in Takashi's mad amalgam.
Japan is an amalgam of ancient traditions and modernity.
Most of the social science fields are built on an amalgam of other fields.
As progressive nonprofits, an odd amalgam of green groups and labor
  organizations has emerged in the midwest state budget battles.
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