One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 51, a brittle silvery-white metalloid.
Antimony was known from ancient times; the naturally occurring black sulphide was used as the cosmetic kohl. The element is used in alloys, usually with lead, such as pewter, type metal, and Britannia metal
- ‘Beryllium, calcium, silver and antimony have no appreciable effect on mechanical properties.’
- ‘Within these belts, gold mineralization is associated with rare metals, base metals, uranium, antimony, and mercury.’
- ‘Cartridges found at the Post Office contained residues of aluminium, lead, barium and antimony or three or two of these elements.’
- ‘Beneath the surface lie layers rich in arsenic, phosphorus, copper, lead, antimony, even gold.’
- ‘The crystal is a combination of antimony and cobalt known as a skutterudite.’
- ‘Austria produces some petroleum and natural gas to meet its own needs, and it also mines coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, antimony, and graphite, used in industry.’
- ‘Anti is not a prefix here; antimony is a metallic chemical element that has nothing to do with being against or opposed to something.’
- ‘Mrs. Moffat's powder, a mixture that included antimony and potassium tartrate, was advertised as being in use for 60 years and highly effective.’
- ‘Scholars had a great deal of trouble distinguishing arsenic, antimony, and bismuth from each other.’
- ‘Small amounts of various metals, notably antimony and silver, are added to tin-lead solders to increase their strength.’
- ‘The most important of these are antimony, phosphorus, tin, and arsenic, with manganese and silicon having a small effect.’
- ‘High levels of barium and antimony on a person's hands is a strong indication that they have fired a weapon or have been close to a discharged weapon.’
- ‘There are seven metalloids: boron, silicon, germanium, arsenic, selenium, antimony, and tellurium.’
- ‘Conditions in other factories were as bad, with antimony and lead poisoning common.’
- ‘Doping with elements such as fluorine or antimony enhances its electrical conductivity and in turn its infrared reflectance.’
- ‘The acid draws other heavy metals- including arsenic, antimony, lead, and mercury- out of the ore heaps and into the environment.’
- ‘We quickly learned that those cases were from their new non-toxic primers, which contained no lead or other heavy metals such as barium and antimony.’
- ‘Their symptoms, masked as food poisoning, were - according to the doctors' evidence - identical with poisoning by antimony (to weaken the system), then strychnine (to kill the patient off).’
- ‘Alloying with other metals, notably calcium or antimony, is a common method of strengthening lead for many applications.’
- ‘State records indicate there is considerable groundwater degradation at the site, and that high levels of arsenic and antimony have been recorded.’
Late Middle English (denoting stibnite, the most common ore of the metal): from medieval Latin antimonium, of unknown origin. The current sense dates from the early 19th century.
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