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mercurial

[mer-kyoo r-ee-uh l] /mərˈkyʊər i əl/
adjective
1.
changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic:
a mercurial nature.
2.
animated; lively; sprightly; quick-witted.
3.
pertaining to, containing, or caused by the metal mercury.
4.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the god Mercury.
5.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the planet Mercury.
noun
6.
Pharmacology. a preparation of mercury used as a drug.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin mercuriālis of, pertaining to the god or planet Mercury. See mercury, -al1
Related forms
mercurially, adverb
mercurialness, mercuriality, noun
unmercurial, adjective
unmercurially, adverb
unmercurialness, noun
Synonyms
1. inconstant, indecisive. 2. spirited.
Antonyms
1. constant, steady. 2. phlegmatic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mercurialness

mercurial

/mɜːˈkjʊərɪəl/
adjective
1.
of, like, containing, or relating to mercury
2.
volatile; lively a mercurial temperament
3.
(sometimes capital) of, like, or relating to the god or the planet Mercury
noun
4.
(med) any salt of mercury for use as a medicine
Derived Forms
mercurially, adverb
mercurialness, mercuriality, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin mercuriālis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mercurialness
mercurial
late 14c., "pertaining to the planet Mercury" (see Mercury). Meaning "sprightly, volatile, quick" (1590s) is from supposed qualities of those born under the planet Mercury, probably partially by association with quicksilver.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mercurialness in Medicine

mercurial mer·cu·ri·al (mər-kyur'ē-əl)
adj.
Containing or caused by the action of the element mercury. n.
A pharmacological or chemical preparation containing mercury.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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