follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

zinc

[zingk] /zɪŋk/
noun
1.
Chemistry. a ductile, bluish-white metallic element: used in making galvanized iron, brass, and other alloys, and as an element in voltaic cells. Symbol: Zn; atomic weight: 65.37; atomic number: 30; specific gravity: 7.14 at 20°C.
2.
a piece of this metal used as an element in a voltaic cell.
verb (used with object), zincked or zinced
[zingkt] /zɪŋkt/ (Show IPA),
zincking or zincing
[zing-king] /ˈzɪŋ kɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
3.
to coat or cover with zinc.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < German Zink, perhaps derivative of Zinke(n) prong, tine, from the spikelike form it takes in a furnace
Related forms
zincky, zincy, zinky, adjective
zincoid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for zinc
  • zinc is an important trace mineral that people need to stay healthy.
  • Scientists still haven't discovered a cure for the common cold, but researchers now say zinc may be the next best thing.
  • Bacitracin zinc is a medicine applied to cuts and other skin wounds to help prevent infection.
  • My column this week mentions a fair amount of scientific information about zinc in denture cream.
  • The decor around this horseshoe-shaped zinc bar is dated, but the dishes are modern and often served in innovative combinations.
  • Less-prominent exterior elements of the addition are sheathed in zinc.
  • zinc supposedly helps the body's natural defenses work to their natural capacity and decrease the severity and length of a cold.
  • Citrus may suffer from chlorosis due to iron, manganese, or zinc deficiency.
  • Some elements were more common than others, but everything from argon to zinc was there.
  • Fresh and ready to harvest cilantro fills a wide zinc bowl.
British Dictionary definitions for zinc

zinc

/zɪŋk/
noun
1.
a brittle bluish-white metallic element that becomes coated with a corrosion-resistant layer in moist air and occurs chiefly in sphalerite and smithsonite. It is a constituent of several alloys, esp brass and nickel-silver, and is used in die-casting, galvanizing metals, and in battery electrodes. Symbol: Zn; atomic no: 30; atomic wt: 65.39; valency: 2; relative density: 7.133; melting pt: 419.58°C; boiling pt: 907°C
2.
(informal) corrugated galvanized iron
Derived Forms
zincic, zincous, zincoid, adjective
zincky, zincy, zinky, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from German Zink, perhaps from Zinke prong, from its jagged appearance in the furnace
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for zinc
zinc
1651, from Ger. Zink, perhaps related to Zinke "prong, point;" said to have been used first by Paracelsus (c.1526) on analogy of the form of its crystals after smelting. Zinke is from O.H.G. zint "a point, jag," from P.Gmc. *tindja "tine" (cf. O.N. tindr "point, top, summit," O.E. tind "prong, spike;" cf. tine).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
zinc in Medicine

zinc (zĭngk)
n.
Symbol Zn
A metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but becomes malleable when heated. Atomic number 30; atomic weight 65.39; melting point 419.5°C; boiling point 907°C; specific gravity 7.133 (25°C); valence 2.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
zinc in Science
zinc
  (zĭngk)   
Symbol Zn
A shiny, bluish-white metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but is malleable when heated. It is used in alloys such as brass and bronze, as a coating for iron and steel, and in various household objects. Zinc is essential to human and animal growth. Atomic number 30; atomic weight 65.39; melting point 419.4°C; boiling point 907°C; specific gravity 7.133 (25°C); valence 2. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for zinc

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for zinc

15
17
Scrabble Words With Friends