1. a heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element; the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures;
[syn: mercury, quicksilver, hydrargyrum, Hg, atomic number 80]
2. (Roman mythology) messenger of Jupiter and god of commerce; counterpart of Greek Hermes;
3. the smallest planet and the nearest to the sun;
4. temperature measured by a mercury thermometer;
- Example: "the mercury was falling rapidly"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Poison \Poi"son\, n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See Potable, and cf. Potion.] 1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it; as, morphine is a deadly poison; the poison of pestilential diseases. [1913 Webster] 2. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as, the poison of evil example; the poison of sin. [1913 Webster] Poison ash. (Bot.) (a) A tree of the genus Amyris (Amyris balsamifera) found in the West Indies, from the trunk of which a black liquor distills, supposed to have poisonous qualities. (b) The poison sumac (Rhus venenata). [U. S.] Poison dogwood (Bot.), poison sumac. Poison fang (Zool.), one of the superior maxillary teeth of some species of serpents, which, besides having the cavity for the pulp, is either perforated or grooved by a longitudinal canal, at the lower end of which the duct of the poison gland terminates. See Illust. under Fang. Poison gland (Biol.), a gland, in animals or plants, which secretes an acrid or venomous matter, that is conveyed along an organ capable of inflicting a wound. Poison hemlock (Bot.), a poisonous umbelliferous plant (Conium maculatum). See Hemlock. Poison ivy (Bot.), a poisonous climbing plant (formerly Rhus Toxicodendron, or Rhus radicans, now classified as Toxicodendron radicans) of North America. It is common as a climbing vine, especially found on tree trunks, or walls, or as a low, spreading vine or as a shrub. As a low vine it grows well in lightly shaded areas, recognizable by growing in clusters of three leaves. Its leaves are trifoliate, rhombic-ovate, and variously notched. Its form varies slightly from location to location, leading to some speculation that it may consist of more than one species. Many people are poisoned by it, though some appear resistant to its effects. Touching the leaves may leave a residue of an oil on the skin, and if not washed off quickly, sensitive areas of skin become reddened and develop multiple small blisters, lasting for several days to several weeks, and causing a persistent itch. The toxic reaction is due to an oil, present in all parts of the plant except the pollen, called urushiol, the active component of which is the compound pentadecylacatechol (according to [a href="http:]/www.jaxmed.com/articles/Diseases/poison_ivy_dermatitis.htm">Charles H. Booras). See Poison sumac. It is related to poison oak, and is also called mercury. Poison nut. (Bot.) (a) Nux vomica. (b) The tree which yields this seed (Strychnos Nuxvomica). It is found on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. Poison oak (Bot.), a dermatitis-producing plant often lumped together with the poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) in common terminology, but more properly distinguished as the more shrubby Toxicodendron quercifolium (syn. Toxicodendron diversilobum), common in California and Oregon. Opinion varies as to whether the poison oak and poison ivy are only variants of a single species. See poison ivy, above. Poison sac. (Zool.) Same as Poison gland, above. See Illust. under Fang. Poison sumac (Bot.), a poisonous shrub formerly considered to be of the genus Rhus (Rhus venenata), but now classified as Toxicodendron vernix; -- also called poison ash, poison dogwood, and poison elder. It has pinnate leaves on graceful and slender common petioles, and usually grows in swampy places. Both this plant and the poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans, formerly Rhus Toxicodendron) have clusters of smooth greenish white berries, while the red-fruited species of this genus are harmless. The tree (Rhus vernicifera) which yields the celebrated Japan lacquer is almost identical with the poison sumac, and is also very poisonous. The juice of the poison sumac also forms a lacquer similar to that of Japan. [1913 Webster +PJC] Syn: Venom; virus; bane; pest; malignity. Usage: Poison, Venom. Poison usually denotes something received into the system by the mouth, breath, etc. Venom is something discharged from animals and received by means of a wound, as by the bite or sting of serpents, scorpions, etc. Hence, venom specifically implies some malignity of nature or purpose. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mercury \Mer"cu*ry\, v. t. To wash with a preparation of mercury. [Obs.] --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mercury \Mer"cu*ry\, n. [L. Mercurius; akin to merx wares.] 1. (Rom. Myth.) A Latin god of commerce and gain; -- treated by the poets as identical with the Greek Hermes, messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to the lower world, and god of eloquence. [1913 Webster] 2. (Chem.) A metallic element mostly obtained by reduction from cinnabar, one of its ores. It is a heavy, opaque, glistening liquid (commonly called quicksilver), and is used in barometers, thermometers, etc. Specific gravity 13.6. Symbol Hg (Hydrargyrum). Atomic weight 199.8. Mercury has a molecule which consists of only one atom. It was named by the alchemists after the god Mercury, and designated by his symbol, [mercury]. [1913 Webster] Note: Mercury forms alloys, called amalgams, with many metals, and is thus used in applying tin foil to the backs of mirrors, and in extracting gold and silver from their ores. It is poisonous, and is used in medicine in the free state as in blue pill, and in its compounds as calomel, corrosive sublimate, etc. It is the only metal which is liquid at ordinary temperatures, and it solidifies at about -39[deg] Centigrade to a soft, malleable, ductile metal. [1913 Webster] 3. (Astron.) One of the planets of the solar system, being the one nearest the sun, from which its mean distance is about 36,000,000 miles. Its period is 88 days, and its diameter 3,000 miles. [1913 Webster] 4. A carrier of tidings; a newsboy; a messenger; hence, also, a newspaper. --Sir J. Stephen. "The monthly Mercuries." --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 5. Sprightly or mercurial quality; spirit; mutability; fickleness. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] He was so full of mercury that he could not fix long in any friendship, or to any design. --Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster] 6. (Bot.) A plant (Mercurialis annua), of the Spurge family, the leaves of which are sometimes used for spinach, in Europe. [1913 Webster] Note: The name is also applied, in the United States, to certain climbing plants, some of which are poisonous to the skin, esp. to the Rhus Toxicodendron, or poison ivy. [1913 Webster] Dog's mercury (Bot.), Mercurialis perennis, a perennial plant differing from Mercurialis annua by having the leaves sessile. English mercury (Bot.), a kind of goosefoot formerly used as a pot herb; -- called Good King Henry. Horn mercury (Min.), a mineral chloride of mercury, having a semitranslucent, hornlike appearance. [1913 Webster]WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
mercury n 1: a heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element; the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures [syn: mercury, quicksilver, hydrargyrum, Hg, atomic number 80] 2: (Roman mythology) messenger of Jupiter and god of commerce; counterpart of Greek Hermes 3: the smallest planet and the nearest to the sun 4: temperature measured by a mercury thermometer; "the mercury was falling rapidly"Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
104 Moby Thesaurus words for "Mercury": Agdistis, Amor, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apollon, Ares, Artemis, Ate, Athena, Bacchus, Ceres, Cora, Cronus, Cupid, Cybele, Demeter, Despoina, Diana, Dionysus, Dis, Earth, Eros, Gaea, Gaia, Ge, Great Mother, Hades, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Here, Hermes, Hestia, Hymen, Hyperion, Iris, Jove, Juno, Jupiter, Jupiter Fidius, Jupiter Fulgur, Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Jupiter Pluvius, Jupiter Tonans, Kore, Kronos, Magna Mater, Mars, Minerva, Mithras, Momus, Neptune, Nike, Olympians, Olympic gods, Ops, Orcus, Paul Revere, Persephassa, Persephone, Pheidippides, Phoebus, Phoebus Apollo, Pluto, Poseidon, Proserpina, Proserpine, Rhea, Saturn, Tellus, Uranus, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Zeus, asteroid, carrier, commercialism, commissionaire, courier, diplomatic courier, emissary, estafette, express, go-between, industrialism, inferior planet, major planet, mercantilism, message-bearer, messenger, minor planet, nuncio, planet, planetoid, post, postboy, postrider, runner, secondary planet, solar system, superior planet, terrestrial planet, wandererMoby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
74 Moby Thesaurus words for "mercury": April showers, Gyropilot, Proteus, antelope, arrow, automatic pilot, blue darter, blue streak, boatheader, boatsteerer, cannonball, chameleon, cicerone, cloud shapes, courier, courser, cowherd, coxswain, dart, dragoman, drover, eagle, electricity, express train, flash, gazelle, glass, goatherd, greased lightning, greyhound, guide, guidepost, guider, hare, helmsman, herd, herdsman, jet plane, kaleidoscope, light, lightning, moon, navigator, pilot, pointer, quicksilver, river pilot, rocket, rolling stone, scared rabbit, shepherd, shifting sands, shot, steerer, steersman, streak, streak of lightning, striped snake, swallow, the weather, thermal detector, thermometer, thermostat, thought, thunderbolt, torrent, tour director, tour guide, water, weather vane, weathercock, wheel of fortune, whirligig, windThe Elements (07Nov00):
mercury Symbol: Hg Atomic number: 80 Atomic weight: 200.59 Heavy silvery liquid metallic element, belongs to the zinc group. Used in thermometers, barometers and other scientific apparatus. Less reactive than zinc and cadmium, does not displace hydrogen from acids. Forms a number of complexes and organomercury compounds.