Definition of nickel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnik(ə)l/


1A silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 28. (Symbol: Ni)

Nickel occurs naturally in various minerals, and the earth’s core is believed to consist largely of metallic iron and nickel. The chief use of nickel is in alloys, especially with iron, to which it imparts strength and resistance to corrosion, and with copper for coinage.

Example sentences
  • Metals like silver, nickel and gold are a perfect medium for coinage because of their durability and the value accorded by their relative rarity.
  • We are already exporting gold and we have substantial resources of silver, uranium, nickel, cobalt, the deposits of which need further investigation.
  • When waste oils are burned in incinerators, toxic metals such as nickel, vanadium and cadmium get ensnared in the particles given off into the atmosphere.
2North American A five-cent coin; five cents.
Example sentences
  • Here we have ten coins: pennies, nickels, and dimes.
  • You have five quarters, two nickels, three dimes and a penny in your pocket.
  • There on the counter, the boy had left two nickels and five pennies.

verb (nickels, nickeling, nickeled ; British nickels, nickelling, nickelled)

[with object]
Coat with nickel.
Example sentences
  • Riggs had executed scrollwork on more than 75 percent of the big Smith and then had it satin nickeled to better show off the engraving.
  • The gun that came out of Devel as a Basic Combat Conversion, shortened and electroless nickeled, looked like it grew that size, but still packed a punch.


Mid 18th century: shortening of German Kupfernickel, the copper-colored ore from which nickel was first obtained, from Kupfer 'copper' + Nickel 'demon' (with reference to the ore's failure to yield copper).

Words that rhyme with nickel

chicle, fickle, mickle, pickle, prickle, sickle, strickle, tickle, trickle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nick·el

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