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According to the American Heritage Dictionary, "Probably from a misreading of an English transcription of Kannada ಉಕ್ಕು (ukku), ಉರ್ಕು (urku, steel); akin to Tamil உருகு (uruku, to melt) and உருக்கு (urukku, melted thing, steel).



wootz (countable and uncountable, plural wootzes)

  1. A famous type of steel from India, much admired for making sword blades.
    • 1863, The celebrated wootz or steel of India, made in little cakes of only about two pounds weight, possesses qualities which no European steel can surpass. — Industrial Biography, Samuel Smiles, 1963.
    • 1884, The word first appears in 'Experiments and Observations to investigate the Nature of a Kind of Steel manufactured at Bombay, and there called Wootz,' ... By G. Pearson, M.D. (paper read before the Royal Soc., June 11, 1795). — Robert F. Burton, The Book of the Sword, page 110.

Usage notes[edit]

In earlier usage it appears as simply wootz (see quotations), later being referred to as wootz steel

See also[edit]