any of various alloys or metallic substances with a dark gray or blackish color or finish, used for chains, belt buckles, etc.
Also called gunmetal gray. a dark gray with bluish or purplish tinge.
a bronze formerly much used for cannon.
an alloy of 88 percent copper, 10 percent tin, and 2 percent zinc, cast or machined for use in valves, gears, and other parts.
Also, gun metal.

1535–45; gun1 + metal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gunmetal (ˈɡʌnˌmɛtəl)
1.  a type of bronze containing copper (88 per cent), tin (8--10 per cent), and zinc (2--4 per cent): used for parts that are subject to wear or to corrosion, esp by sea water
2.  any of various dark grey metals used for toys, belt buckles, etc
3.  a.  a dark grey colour with a purplish or bluish tinge
 b.  (as adjective): gunmetal chiffon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica


variety of bronze, formerly used for ordnance. Modern admiralty gunmetal is composed of 88 percent copper, 10 percent tin, and 2 percent zinc and is used for gears and bearings that are to be subjected to heavy loads and low speeds. It withstands atmospheric, steam, and seawater corrosion and is suitable for valves, pump parts, and steam fittings.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
More charms appeared on gunmetal silk dresses and skirts, and fringe crowned a coatdress in gold ottoman silk.
The mirror, a perfect hexagon of gunmetal gray, stands vertically on a low platform.
The blue racer may show varying shades of gunmetal gray or blue above and below with a darker head and eye area.
The gunmetal-gray launches are revving their engines impatiently, itching to begin their nightly chase after smugglers.
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