What does Steel mean?

Definitions for Steel

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Steel.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. steelnoun

    an alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon; widely used in construction; mechanical properties can be varied over a wide range

  2. sword, blade, brand, steelnoun

    a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard

  3. steelverb

    knife sharpener consisting of a ridged steel rod

  4. steel, nerveverb

    get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

  5. steelverb

    cover, plate, or edge with steel


  1. steelnoun

    A metal alloy of mostly iron plus carbon, harder than pure elemental iron but malleable when hot.

  2. steelnoun

    A tool used to sharpen or hone knives; a .

  3. steelnoun

    A sword.

  4. steelnoun

    A type of slide used in the practice of steel guitar.

  5. steelnoun

    Hardness; strength in adversity; mettle.

  6. steelverb

    To harden.

    The harsh fall weather steeled them against the colder winter.

  7. steelverb

    To cover with steel

  8. steelverb

    To hone with a honing steel.

  9. Etymology: stele, stel, from Old English (North) stele, (South) style, from stahlijan (cf. West Frisian stiel), enlargement of stahlan (cf. staal, Stahl, Danish stål) from stak- ‘to stay, be firm’ (cf. Umbrian stakaz ‘upright, erected’, Avestan ‘strong’, Sanskrit ‘resist, strike against’).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Steelnoun

    1.Steel is a kind of iron, refined and purified by the fire with other ingredients, which renders it white, and its grain closer and finer than common iron. Steel, of all other metals, is that susceptible of the greatest degree of hardness, when well tempered; whence its great use in the making of tools and instruments of all kinds. Ephraim Chambers

    Etymology: stal , Saxon; stael, Dutch.

    Steel is made from the purest and softest iron, by keeping it red-hot, stratified with coal-dust and wood-ashes, or other substances that abound in the phlogiston, for several hours in a close furnace. It may also be made by fusion, and several other ways; but they are greatly in the wrong who prefer steel to iron for medicinal purposes. John Hill, Mat. Medica.

    At her back a bow and quiver gay,
    Stuff’d with steel-headed darts wherewith she quell’d
    The savage beasts in her victorious play. Fairy Queen.

    With mighty bars of long enduring brass
    The steel-bound doors and iron gates he ties. Edward Fairfax.

    A looking-glass, with the steel behind, looketh whiter than glass simple. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Diamonds, though hard bodies, will not ready strike fire with steel, much less with one another; nor a flint easily with a steel, if they both be wet; the sparks being then quenched in their eruption. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure
    As might the strokes of two such arms endure. Dryden.

    Brave Macbeth with his brandish’d steel
    Which smok’d with bloody execution,
    Carv’d out his passage till he had fac’d the slave. William Shakespeare.

    A grove of oaks,
    Whose polish’d steel from far severely shines,
    Are not so dreadful as this beauteous queen. Dryden.

    He sudden as the word,
    In proud Plexippus’ bosom plunged the sword;
    Toxeus amaz’d, and with amazement slow,
    Stood doubting; and while doubting thus he stood,
    Receiv’d the steel bath’d in his brother’s blood. Dryden.

    After relaxing, steel strengthens the solids, and is likewise an antiacid. Arbuthnot.

  2. To Steelverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers,
    And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point. William Shakespeare, R. II.

    Lies well steel’d with weighty arguments. William Shakespeare.

    So service shall with steeled fingers toil,
    And labour shall refresh itself with hope. William Shakespeare, H. V.

    From his metal was his party steel’d;
    Which once in him rebated, all the rest
    Turn’d on themselves, like dull and heavy lead. William Shakespeare.

    O God of battles! steel my soldiers hearts,
    Possess them not with fear. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    Why will you fight against so sweet a passion,
    And steel your heart to such a world of charms? Addison.

    Man, foolish man!
    Scarce know’st thou how thyself began;
    Yet steel’d with study’d boldness, thou dar’st try
    To send thy doubted reason’s dazled eye
    Through the mysterious gulph of vast immensity. Matthew Prior.

    Let the steel’d Turk be deaf to matrons cries,
    See virgins ravish’d with relentless eyes. Thomas Tickell.


  1. Steel

    Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon with improved strength and fracture resistance compared to other forms of iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resistant typically need an additional 11% chromium. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, steel is used in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, trains, cars, machines, electrical appliances, and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Depending on the temperature, it can take two crystalline forms (allotropic forms): body-centred cubic and face-centred cubic. The interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements, primarily carbon, gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties. In pure iron, the crystal structure has relatively little resistance to the iron atoms slipping past one another, and so pure iron is quite ductile, or soft and easily formed. In steel, small amounts of carbon, other elements, and inclusions within the iron act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of dislocations. The carbon in typical steel alloys may contribute up to 2.14% of its weight. Varying the amount of carbon and many other alloying elements, as well as controlling their chemical and physical makeup in the final steel (either as solute elements, or as precipitated phases), impedes the movement of the dislocations that make pure iron ductile, and thus controls and enhances its qualities. These qualities include the hardness, quenching behaviour, need for annealing, tempering behaviour, yield strength, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. The increase in steel's strength compared to pure iron is possible only by reducing iron's ductility. Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use began only after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the introduction of the blast furnace and production of crucible steel. This was followed by the open-hearth furnace and then the Bessemer process in England in the mid-19th century. With the invention of the Bessemer process, a new era of mass-produced steel began. Mild steel replaced wrought iron. The German states saw major steel prowess over Europe in the 19th century.Further refinements in the process, such as basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS), largely replaced earlier methods by further lowering the cost of production and increasing the quality of the final product. Today, steel is one of the most commonly manufactured materials in the world, with more than 1.6 billion tons produced annually. Modern steel is generally identified by various grades defined by assorted standards organisations. The modern steel industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world, but is one of the most energy and greenhouse gas emission intense industries, contributing 8% of global emissions. However, steel is also very reusable: it is one of the world's most-recycled materials, with a recycling rate of over 60% globally.


  1. steel

    Steel is a strong, durable, and versatile material primarily composed of iron and carbon, often with small amounts of other elements to enhance certain properties. It is characterized by its ability to be shaped into various forms and its resistance to corrosion, making it a vital component in numerous applications such as construction, automotive, cutlery, tools, and appliances. The properties of steel can be modified through different processing methods, which include alloying, heat treatment, and tempering.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Steelnoun

    a variety of iron intermediate in composition and properties between wrought iron and cast iron (containing between one half of one per cent and one and a half per cent of carbon), and consisting of an alloy of iron with an iron carbide. Steel, unlike wrought iron, can be tempered, and retains magnetism. Its malleability decreases, and fusibility increases, with an increase in carbon

  2. Steelnoun

    an instrument or implement made of steel

  3. Steelnoun

    a weapon, as a sword, dagger, etc

  4. Steelnoun

    an instrument of steel (usually a round rod) for sharpening knives

  5. Steelnoun

    a piece of steel for striking sparks from flint

  6. Steelnoun

    fig.: Anything of extreme hardness; that which is characterized by sternness or rigor

  7. Steelnoun

    a chalybeate medicine

  8. Steelnoun

    to overlay, point, or edge with steel; as, to steel a razor; to steel an ax

  9. Steelnoun

    to make hard or strong; hence, to make insensible or obdurate

  10. Steelnoun

    fig.: To cause to resemble steel, as in smoothness, polish, or other qualities

  11. Steelnoun

    to cover, as an electrotype plate, with a thin layer of iron by electrolysis. The iron thus deposited is very hard, like steel

  12. Etymology: [AS. stlan: cf. Icel. staela. See Steel, n.]


  1. Steel

    Steel is an alloy of iron and other elements, including carbon. When carbon is the primary alloying element, its content in the steel is between 0.002% and 2.1% by weight. The following elements are always present in steel: carbon, manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, and traces of oxygen, nitrogen and aluminum. Alloying elements intentionally added to modify the characteristics of steel include: manganese, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, boron, titanium, vanadium and niobium. Carbon and other elements act as a hardening agent, preventing dislocations in the iron atom crystal lattice from sliding past one another. Varying the amount of alloying elements and the form of their presence in the steel controls qualities such as the hardness, ductility, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. Steel with increased carbon content can be made harder and stronger than iron, but such steel is also less ductile than iron. Alloys with a higher than 2.1% carbon are known as cast iron. Because they are not malleable even when hot, they can be worked only by casting, and they have lower melting point and good castability. Steel is also distinguishable from wrought iron, which can contain a small amount of carbon, but it is included in the form of slag inclusions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Steel

    stēl, n. iron combined in varying proportions with carbon for making edged tools: any instrument or weapon of steel: an instrument of steel for sharpening knives on: a strip of steel for stiffening a corset: a piece of steel for striking fire from a flint: extreme hardness: a chalybeate medicine.—adj. made of steel: hard, unfeeling.—v.t. to overlay or edge with steel: to harden: to make obdurate.—adj. Steel′-clad, clad with steel-mail.—ns. Steel′-engraving, the art of engraving pictures on steel plates from which impressions may be taken, the impression or print so taken; Steel′iness, state of being steely, great hardness; Steel′ing, the welding of a steel edge on a cutting instrument; Steel′-pen, a pen-nib made of steel; Steel′-plate, a plate of steel: a plate of polished steel on which a design is engraved, the print taken from such.—adj. Steel′-plāt′ed, plated with steel.—n.pl. Steel′-toys, small articles of steel as buttons, buckles, &c.—n. Steel′-ware, articles made of steel collectively.—adj. Steel′y, made of steel: steel-like. [A.S. stýle; Ger. stahl.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Steel

    A tough, malleable, iron-based alloy containing up to, but no more than, two percent carbon and often other metals. It is used in medicine and dentistry in implants and instrumentation.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Steel

    A compound of iron with carbon. The carbon may range from a few hundredths of one per cent. up to two per cent. For magnets, tool steel drawn to a straw color or a little lower is good. All shaping and filing should be done before magnetization.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. steel

    See Ordnance, Metals for.

Rap Dictionary

  1. steelnoun

    Pistol. Finger on the trigger with my hand upon the steel -- Cypress Hill (Hand on the pump), I got a raw deal, so I'm goin' for the steel -- Public Enemy (Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos)

Editors Contribution

  1. steel

    A type of alloy.

    Steel is used across the world for a variety of purposes.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 31, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. steel

    Song lyrics by steel -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by steel on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. STEEL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Steel is ranked #4949 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Steel surname appeared 7,111 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Steel.

    79.1% or 5,630 total occurrences were White.
    13.8% or 982 total occurrences were Black.
    3.2% or 231 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.1% or 155 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 62 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.7% or 51 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Steel' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2774

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Steel' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2878

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Steel' in Nouns Frequency: #1172

Anagrams for Steel »

  1. sleet

  2. stele

  3. teles

  4. leets

  5. slete

How to pronounce Steel?

How to say Steel in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Steel in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Steel in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Steel in a Sentence

  1. Biden TransitionBiden:

    One thing I promise you about my leadership during this crisis : I'm going to tell it to you straight. I'm going to tell you the truth. And here's the simple truth : Our darkest days in the battle against Covid are ahead of us, not behind us, so we need to prepare ourselves, to steel our spines.

  2. Lakshheish M Patel:

    Tata steel share price is likely to touch Rs.601 .

  3. Scott Walker:

    The United States needs a foreign policy that puts steel in front of our enemies.

  4. The Beijing trader:

    Port inventories have surged by as much as 10 million tonnes in recent months, while steel mills are still cutting their plant inventories, so more could be sold to market and prices will be under further pressure.

  5. Karen Rugaard:

    The steel tariff exclusion request review process is flawed and does not allow for an applicant to effectively engage, we are reviewing our options to challenge this decision.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Steel

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"Steel." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Steel>.

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    evincing the presence of a deity
    A numinous
    B dicotyledonous
    C splay
    D tantamount

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