One of the electropositive elements, either amphoteric or basic, usually characterized by properties such as luster, malleability, ductility, the ability to conduct electricity, and the tendency to lose rather than gain electrons in chemicals. [L. metallum, a mine, a mineral, fr. G. metallon, a mine, pit]
- alkali m. an alkali of the family Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, and Fr, all of which have highly ionized hydroxides. SYN: alkali (3).
- alkali earth m. alkaline earth elements, under element.
- Babbitt m. an alloy of antimony, copper, and tin; used occasionally in dentistry.
- base m., basic m. a m. that is readily oxidized; e.g., iron, copper.
- colloidal m. a colloidal solution of a m. obtained by passing electric sparks between terminals of the m. in distilled water. SYN: electrosol.
- d'Arcet m. an alloy of lead, bismuth, and tin; used in dentistry.
- fusible m. a m. with a low melting point.
- heavy m. a m. with a high specific gravity, typically larger than 5; E.G., Fe, Co, Cu, Mn, Mo, Zn, V.
- light m. a m. with a specific gravity of less than 4.
- noble m. a m. that cannot be oxidized by heat alone, nor readily dissolved by acid; e.g., gold, platinum. SYN: noble element.
- rare earth m. lanthanides.
- respiratory m. a m. present in certain respiratory pigments; e.g., iron, manganese, copper, vanadium.

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met·al 'met-əl n any of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, form cations by loss of electrons, and yield basic oxides and hydroxides esp one that is a chemical element as distinguished from an alloy

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met·al (metґəl) [L. metallum; Gr. metallon] any element marked by luster, malleability, ductility, and conductivity of electricity and heat and which will ionize positively in solution.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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