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quicksilver

[kwik-sil-ver] /ˈkwɪkˌsɪl vər/
noun
1.
the metallic element mercury.
verb (used with object)
2.
to amalgamate (metal) with mercury.
Origin of quicksilver
1000
before 1000; Middle English qwyksilver, Old English cwicseolfor (translation Latin argentum vīvum) literally, living silver
Related forms
quicksilvery, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for quicksilver
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The very virulence of their denunciation was as quicksilver poured upon the glass of their envy.

    Sir Charles Napier Sir William Francis Butler
  • I have more names than one; but the name of quicksilver suits me as well as any other.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • See where the glass is flawed—the quicksilver must be pretty nearly all gone from the backs of them.

    The Abandoned Farmers Irvin S. Cobb
  • "And that would be a great pity," said quicksilver, with his mischievous smile.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • In 1720 he effected a great improvement by the use of quicksilver instead of spirits of wine in thermometers.

British Dictionary definitions for quicksilver

quicksilver

/ˈkwɪkˌsɪlvə/
noun
1.
another name for mercury (sense 1)
adjective
2.
rapid or unpredictable in movement or change: a quicksilver temper
Word Origin
Old English, from cwicu alive (see quick) + seolfer silver
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 quicksilver
n.

Old English cwicseolfor, literally "living silver," translating Latin argentum vivum (cf. Italian argento vivo), literally "living silver;" so called from its liquid mobility. See quick (adj.) + silver (n.). Cf. Dutch kwikzilver, Old High German quecsilbar, German quecksilber, French vif-argent, Italian argenta viva.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quicksilver in Technology

database
A dBASE-like compiler for MS-DOS from WordTech.
(1995-05-11)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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29
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