Definition of steel noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stiːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stiːl//
    Materials and properties
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  1. 1  [uncountable] a strong hard metal that is made of a mixture of iron and carbon the iron and steel industry The frame is made of steel. The bridge is reinforced with huge steel girders. see also stainless steel See related entries: Materials and properties
  2. 2  [uncountable] the industry that produces steel Steel used to be important in South Wales. steel workers a steel town
  3. 3[countable] a long thin straight piece of steel with a rough surface, used for rubbing knives on to make them sharp
  4. 4[uncountable] (old use or literary) weapons that are used for fighting the clash of steel
  5. Word OriginOld English stȳle, stēli, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch staal, German Stahl, also to the noun stay sense (2). The verb dates from the late 16th cent.Extra examples building in steel and aluminium knives made of stainless steel the advantages of building in steel and glassIdioms having a quality like steel, especially a strong, cold or hard quality She felt a hand of steel (= a strong, firm hand) on her arm. You need a cool head and nerves of steel (= great courage). There was a hint of steel in his voice (= he sounded cold and firm).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: steel