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alloy Syllabification: al·loy

Definition of alloy in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈaˌloi/
1A metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion: an alloy of nickel, bronze, and zinc flat pieces of alloy [as modifier]: alloy wheels
More example sentences
  • The aluminum alloy combines the properties of machinability, corrosion resistance, strength and brazeability.
  • Nickel-base alloys offer excellent corrosion resistance to a wide range of corrosive media.
  • Produced from a combination of polymers and metallic alloys, it is highly corrosion resistant and almost maintenance free.
1.1An inferior metal mixed with a precious one.
Example sentences
  • The quality of the boxes themselves also suffered as material became scarce - a consignment of brass was lost with the Lusitania, and as brass was needed for the direct war effort, later boxes were of inferior alloy.
  • Boldly, I walked up to the mixed alloy gate; its rough battered surface longed for happier days.
  • The precious metals could be extracted by stirring the molten alloy with molten lead: gold and silver dissolved in the lead while copper did not.


Pronunciation: /ˈaˌloi/
[with object] Back to top  
1Mix (metals) to make an alloy: alloying tin with copper to make bronze
More example sentences
  • Gold is also alloyed with other metals to create different colors of gold.
  • It is such a soft and pliable metal that it needs to be alloyed with other metals, into brass or bronze, before it can be used for a structural purpose.
  • Palladium is generally alloyed with other precious metals, such as gold and silver, as well as with copper.
1.1Debase (something) by adding something inferior.
Example sentences
  • The rhapsodic pleasures of her earlier work are alloyed here by a distinctive moral register, a pang of loss and imminent threat.
  • Jenner's discovery was a touch-stone, to detect what proportion of selfishness alloyed the human heart.
  • The teenage victor of strenuous battles against the most formidable and seasoned of opponents, his ferocious gifts were alloyed with a beguiling sensitivity to all things poetical.


Late 16th century: from Old French aloi (noun) and French aloyer (verb), both from Old French aloier, aleier 'combine', from Latin alligare 'bind'.

  • ally from Middle English:

    Latin alligere ‘combine together’, formed from ad- ‘to(gether)’ and ligare ‘bind’ developed into two closely related words in Old French: alier which became ally in English, and aloyer which became alloy (late 16th century). Ligare is also hidden in furl (late 16th century) which comes from French ferler, from ferm ‘firm’ and lier ‘bind’; league (Late Middle English) a binding together; and oblige (Middle English) originally meaning ‘bind by oath’.

Words that rhyme with alloy

ahoy, Amoy, annoy, boy, buoy, cloy, coy, destroy, employ, enjoy, Hanoi, hoi polloi, hoy, Illinois, joy, koi, oi, ploy, poi, Roy, savoy, soy, tatsoi, toy, trompe l'œil, troy
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