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.
- The metal mercury.
- (colloquial) An amalgam of mercury and tin applied to the backs of mirrors, quicksilvering.
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:quicksilver.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
quicksilver (not comparable)
- 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):
- 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.
- David Barthelmy (1997–2022), “Quicksilver”, in Webmineral Mineralogy Database.
- “quicksilver”, in Mindat.org, Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, 2000–2022.
- “quicksilver” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin E[li] Smith, editors (1914), “quicksilver”, in The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, volume IV (P–Simulant), revised edition, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., OCLC 1078064371.