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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Eight nickel cadmium batteries are grouped together inside the handle pack.
▪ Louis, the nickel was the smallest coin.
▪ Low-grade copper and nickel sulphides developed at or near the contacts.
▪ Renwick, weighed down with nickels and dimes, began his calls.
▪ Shares of metal producers also fell as prices of nickel, copper and aluminum futures declined on the London Metal Exchange.
▪ The 11 metals concerned include copper, zinc, lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury.
▪ The 50-mile range is expected to double within the next year with the introduction of nickel hydride battery technology, Chapman said.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Nickel \Nick"el\, n. [G., fr. Sw. nickel, abbrev. from Sw. kopparnickel copper-nickel, a name given in derision, as it was thought to be a base ore of copper. The origin of the second part of the word is uncertain. Cf. Kupfer-nickel, Copper-nickel.]

  1. (Chem.) A bright silver-white metallic element of atomic number 28. It is of the iron group, and is hard, malleable, and ductile. It occurs combined with sulphur in millerite, with arsenic in the mineral niccolite, and with arsenic and sulphur in nickel glance. Symbol Ni. Atomic weight 58.70.

    Note: On account of its permanence in air and inertness to oxidation, it is used in the smaller coins, for plating iron, brass, etc., for chemical apparatus, and in certain alloys, as german silver. It is magnetic, and is very frequently accompanied by cobalt, both being found in meteoric iron.

  2. A small coin made of or containing nickel; esp., a five-cent piece. [Colloq. U.S.]

    Nickel silver, an alloy of nickel, copper, and zinc; -- usually called german silver; called also argentan.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

whitish metal element, 1755, coined in 1754 by Swedish mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt (1722-1765) from shortening of Swedish kopparnickel "copper-colored ore" (from which it was first obtained), a half-translation of German Kupfernickel, literally "copper demon," from Kupfer (see copper) + Nickel "demon, goblin, rascal" (a pet form of masc. proper name Nikolaus, compare English Old Nick "the devil;" see Nicholas); the ore so called by miners because it looked like copper but yielded none.\n

\nMeaning "coin made partly of nickel" is from 1857, when the U.S. introduced one-cent coins made of nickel to replace the old bulky copper pennies. Application to five-cent piece (originally one part nickel, three parts copper) is from 1883, American English; in earlier circulation there were silver half-dimes. To nickel-and-dime (someone) is from 1964 (nickels and dimes "very small amounts of money" is attested from 1893).


n. 1 (context uncountable English) A silvery elemental metal with an atomic number of 28 and symbol Ni. 2 (context US Canada countable English) A coin worth 5 cents. 3 (context US slang by extension English) Five dollars. 4 (context US slang by extension English) Five hundred dollars. 5 (context US slang sometimes'' '''the nickel''' ''or'' '''the hot nickel''' English) Interstate 5, a highway that runs along the west coast of the United States. 6 (context slang English) A playing card with the rank of five 7 (context US slang English) A five-year prison sentence. vb. (context transitive English) To plate with nickel.

  1. v. plate with nickel; "nickel the plate"

  2. [also: nickelling, nickelled]

  1. n. a hard malleable ductile silvery metallic element that is resistant to corrosion; used in alloys; occurs in pentlandite and smaltite and garnierite and millerite [syn: Ni, atomic number 28]

  2. a United States coin worth one twentieth of a dollar

  3. five dollars worth of a drug; "a nickel bag of drugs"; "a nickel deck of heroin" [syn: nickel note]

  4. [also: nickelling, nickelled]

Nickel (United States coin)

A nickel, in American usage, is a five- cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is .835 inches (21.21mm) and its thickness is .077 inches (1.95 mm).

The silver half dime, equal to five cents, had been issued since the 1790s. The American Civil War caused economic hardship, driving gold and silver from circulation; in response, in place of low-value coins, the government at first issued paper currency. In 1865, Congress abolished the five-cent fractional currency note after Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau (today the Bureau of Engraving and Printing), placed his own portrait on the denomination. After successful introduction of two-cent and three-cent pieces without precious metal, Congress also authorized a five-cent piece consisting of base metal; the Mint began striking this version in 1866.

The initial design of the Shield nickel was struck from 1866 until 1883, then was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel. The Buffalo nickel was introduced in 1913 as part of a drive to increase the beauty of American coinage; in 1938, the Jefferson nickel followed. In 2004 and 2005, special designs in honor of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were issued. In 2006, the Mint reverted to using Jefferson nickel designer Felix Schlag's original reverse (or "tails" side), although a new obverse, by Jamie Franki, was substituted. As of the end of FY 2013, it cost more than nine cents to produce a nickel; the Mint is exploring the possibility of reducing cost by using less expensive metals.

Nickel (disambiguation)

Nickel is a chemical element.

Nickel may also refer to:


Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactive surface area, shows a significant chemical activity, but larger pieces are slow to react with air under standard conditions because an oxide layer forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion ( passivation). Even so, pure native nickel is found in Earth's crust only in tiny amounts, usually in ultramafic rocks. and in the interiors of larger nickel–iron meteorites that were not exposed to oxygen when outside Earth's atmosphere.

Meteoric nickel is found in combination with iron, a reflection of the origin of those elements as major end products of supernova nucleosynthesis. An iron–nickel mixture is thought to compose Earth's inner core.

Use of nickel (as a natural meteoric nickel–iron alloy) has been traced as far back as 3500 BCE. Nickel was first isolated and classified as a chemical element in 1751 by Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who initially mistook the ore for a copper mineral. The element's name comes from a mischievous sprite of German miner mythology, Nickel (similar to Old Nick), that personified the fact that copper-nickel ores resisted refinement into copper. An economically important source of nickel is the iron ore limonite, which often contains 1–2% nickel. Nickel's other important ore minerals include garnierite, and pentlandite. Major production sites include the Sudbury region in Canada (which is thought to be of meteoric origin), New Caledonia in the Pacific, and Norilsk in Russia.

Nickel oxidizes slowly at room temperature and is considered corrosion-resistant. Historically, it has been used for plating iron and brass, coating chemistry equipment, and manufacturing certain alloys that retain a high silvery polish, such as German silver. About 6% of world nickel production is still used for corrosion-resistant pure-nickel plating. Nickel-plated objects sometimes provoke nickel allergy. Nickel has been widely used in coins, though its rising price has led to some replacement with cheaper metals in recent years.

Nickel is one of four elements (iron, cobalt, nickel, and gadolinium) that are ferromagnetic around room temperature. Alnico permanent magnets based partly on nickel are of intermediate strength between iron-based permanent magnets and rare-earth magnets. The metal is valuable in modern times chiefly in alloys; about 60% of world production is used in nickel-steels (particularly stainless steel). Other common alloys and some new superalloys comprise most of the remainder of world nickel use, with chemical uses for nickel compounds consuming less than 3% of production. As a compound, nickel has a number of niche chemical manufacturing uses, such as a catalyst for hydrogenation. Nickel is an essential nutrient for some microorganisms and plants that have enzymes with nickel as an active site.

Nickel (Canadian coin)

The Canadian five-cent coin, commonly called a nickel, is a coin worth five cents or one-twentieth of a Canadian dollar. It was patterned on the corresponding coin in the neighbouring United States. Starting 4 February 2013, after the elimination of the penny, it became the smallest valued coin in the currency.

The denomination (i.e., the Canadian five-cent piece) had been introduced in 1858 as a small, thin sterling silver coin, that was colloquially known as a "fish scale," not a nickel. The larger base metal version made of nickel, and called a "nickel," was introduced as a Canadian coin in 1922, originally as 99.9% nickel metal. These coins were magnetic, due to the high nickel content. Versions during World War II were minted in copper-zinc, then chrome and nickel-plated steel, and finally returned again to nickel, at the end of the war. A plated steel version was again made 1951–54 during the Korean War. Rising nickel prices eventually caused another switch to cupronickel in 1982 (an alloy similar to the U.S. nickel), but more recently, Canadian nickels are minted in nickel-plated steel, containing a small amount of copper.

From 1942 to 1963, Canadian five-cent coins were produced in a distinctive 12-sided shape, evocative of the British threepence coin. Originally this was done to distinguish the copper-colored tombac (copper-zinc alloy) coins, from pennies. However, the characteristic shape was retained for another nineteen years after 1944 when this coin was later produced in 99.9% nickel and chrome-plated steel.

The coin is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint at its facility in Winnipeg.

Nickel (surname)

Nickel is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Arno Nickel (born 1952), German correspondence chess Grandmaster
  • Bernd Nickel (born 1949), German former footballer
  • Eckhart Nickel (born 1966), German author and journalist
  • Elbie Nickel (1922–2007), American National Football League tight end
  • Goschwin Nickel (1582–1644), Jesuit priest and the 10th Superior-General of the Society of Jesus
  • Greg Nickels (born 1955), two-time mayor of Seattle
  • Harald Nickel (born 1953), German former footballer
  • Herman W. Nickel (born 1928), United States Ambassador to South Africa during the Reagan administration
  • Jens Nickel, German ten-pin bowler
  • Mike Nickel (born 1965), Canadian politician
  • Gil Nickel (1939–2003), American vintner
  • Richard Nickel (1928–1972), American photographer and historian
  • Uta Nickel (born 1941), German politician
  • Walter R. Nickel (1907–1989), American dermatologist

Usage examples of "nickel".

The two filtrates are mixed and treated with a little acetic acid, and the cobalt and nickel are then precipitated as sulphides by a current of sulphuretted hydrogen.

The solution containing the nickel and cobalt with no great excess of acid, is made alkaline by adding 20 c.

Kupfernickel and chloanthite are arsenides of nickel with, generally, more or less iron and cobalt.

Its chief ores are smaltite and cobaltite, which are arsenides of cobalt, with more or less iron, nickel, and copper.

The salts of silver, mercury, gold, copper, nickel, and platinum, chromic and arsenious acids, cause great inflection with extreme quickness, and are deadly poisons.

Specifically, adding sufficient nickel results in the steel retaining its austenite structure at all temperatures.

There was a scar the size of a nickel on one side of his neck, and a larger cicatrix on the other side of where the Indian arrow had been pushed all the way through.

However long it took Abel to sell the nickel and whatever price we ultimately received for it, the Colcannon burglary was over and we were clear of it.

It was chockablock with salons and saloons, hippodromes and nickel pitches, emporia, divertissements, hijinks, kickshaws, bagatelles, burlesque, and buffoonery.

The ensheathed weapon wore a lacquered white scabbard, the guard was stainless or nickeled steel, and the handle appeared to be white ray hide in black silk diamond-turning pattern, with a butt cap to match the tsuba.

He was looking at me through the eyeholes in his mask and his eyes were as flat and gray as nickels on a pad.

One of the men, the fatter one, reached in his pocket and took out a roll of nickels that was wrapped in paper the way a bank packs theirs.

Ordinarily he was true to the derelict type -- ready to do anything for a nickel or a dose of whiskey or hasheesh -- but at rare intervals he shewed the traits which earned him his name.

Rocket to the Moon Ride at the Piggly-Wiggly, with a handful of nickels, training, which Sticks thought was hooey, and so did Croupie.

Noumeite and garnierite are hydrated silicates of nickel and magnesia.