From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English quyk silver, quyksilver, quikselver, from Old English cwicseolfor (quicksilver, literally living silver) (see Latin argentum vivum) from its ability to move. See quick in the sense of "living". Equivalent to quick +‎ silver. Cognate with Dutch kwikzilver, German Low German Quicksülver, German Quecksilber, Danish kviksølv, Norwegian Bokmål kvikksølv, Swedish kvicksilver.


  • (US) enPR: kwĭk'sĭlvər, IPA(key): /ˈkwɪkˌsɪlvɚ/
    • (file)


quicksilver (uncountable)

  1. The metal mercury.
  2. (colloquial) An amalgam of mercury and tin applied to the backs of mirrors, quicksilvering.



Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


quicksilver (not comparable)

  1. Unpredictable, erratic or fickle; mercurial.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      The idea of a merchant selling both totems of pure evil and frozen yogurt (he calls it frogurt!) is amusing in itself, as is the idea that frogurt could be cursed, but it’s really the Shopkeeper’s quicksilver shift from ominous doomsaying to chipper salesmanship that sells the sequence.



quicksilver (third-person singular simple present quicksilvers, present participle quicksilvering, simple past and past participle quicksilvered)

  1. To overlay with quicksilver.
  2. To treat with quicksilver.

Further reading[edit]