|1.||a. any of various alloys based on iron containing carbon (usually 0.1--1.7 per cent) and often small quantities of other elements such as phosphorus, sulphur, manganese, chromium, and nickel. Steels exhibit a variety of properties, such as strength, machinability, malleability, etc, depending on their composition and the way they have been treated|
|b. See also stainless steel (as modifier): steel girders|
|2.||something that is made of steel|
|3.||a steel stiffener in a corset, etc|
|4.||a ridged steel rod with a handle used for sharpening knives|
|5.||the quality of hardness, esp with regard to a person's character or attitudes|
|6.||stock exchange See also steels the quotation for steel shares|
|7.||(modifier) resembling steel: steel determination|
|8.||to fit, plate, edge, or point with steel|
|9.||to make hard and unfeeling: he steeled his heart against her sorrow; he steeled himself for the blow|
|[Old English stēli; related to Old High German stehli, Middle Dutch stael]|
|steel (stēl) Pronunciation Key
Any of various hard, strong, flexible alloys of iron and carbon. Often, other metals are added to give steel a particular property, such as chromium and nickel to make it stainless. Steel is widely used in many kinds of tools and as a structural material in building.
The "bow of steel" in (A.V.) 2 Sam. 22:35; Job 20:24; Ps. 18:34 is in the Revised Version "bow of brass" (Heb. kesheth-nehushah). In Jer. 15:12 the same word is used, and is also rendered in the Revised Version "brass." But more correctly it is copper (q.v.), as brass in the ordinary sense of the word (an alloy of copper and zinc) was not known to the ancients.
In addition to the idiom beginning with steel, also see mind like a steel trap.