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See also: Mercury


Chemical element
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From Mercury.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈməː.kjʊ.ɹi/
  • (US) enPR: mûr'kūrē, IPA(key): /ˈmɝkjəɹi/
  • (file)


English Wikipedia has an article on:

mercury (countable and uncountable, plural mercuries)

  1. A metal.
    1. A silvery-colored, toxic, metallic chemical element, liquid at room temperature, with atomic number 80 and symbol Hg. [from 14th c.]
      Synonyms: azoth (in alchemy), hydrargyrum (in medical and sometimes chemical use), quicksilver (not in technical use)
    2. (sciences, historical) One of the elemental principles formerly thought to be present in all metals. [from 15th c.]
    3. (with definite article) Ambient pressure or temperature (from the use of mercury in barometers and thermometers). [from 17th c.]
      The mercury there has averaged 37.6°C, 2.3°C above the February norm.
    4. (obsolete) Liveliness, volatility. [17th-18th c.]
      • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Burnet and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
        He was so full of mercury that he could not fix long in any friendship, or to any design.
  2. Any of several types of plant.
    1. An annual plant, annual mercury (Mercurialis annua), formerly grown for its medicinal properties; French mercury, herb mercury. [from 14th c.]
      Synonym: mercurial
      • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, p. 188:
        Towards the tops of the stalks and branches come forth at every joint in the male Mercury two small round green heads, standing together upon a short footstalk, which growing ripe are the seeds, not having any flower.
    2. Any plant of any species of the genus and the genus Mercurialis.
    3. A similar edible plant, Blitum bonus-henricus, otherwise known as English mercury or allgood. [from 15th c.]
    4. (US, regional) The poison oak or poison ivy. [from 18th c.]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Mercury” in David Barthelmy, Webmineral Mineralogy Database[1], 1997–.
  • mercury”, in[2], Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, accessed 29 August 2016.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of mercurie