American English

Definition of steel noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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
  2. 2[uncountable] the industry that produces steel Steel used to be the most important industry in Pittsburgh. 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. Idioms 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 Learner's Dictionary entry: steel