Definition of base metal in US English:

base metal


  • A common metal that is not considered precious, such as copper, tin, or zinc.

    ‘cutlery was available in silver or base metals’
    mass noun ‘most are made of base metal’
    • ‘Although the primary deposits from which azurite is derived commonly contain other base metals such as zinc and lead, secondary minerals of these metals are not typically in intimate association.’
    • ‘From its use in ancient Egypt and Rome into the current century, the base metal copper has maintained its technological importance.’
    • ‘The prices of gold, copper and other base metals have been pushed to record highs by a combination of strong Chinese and Indian demand and speculative buying, but they could be vulnerable to a short-term setback.’
    • ‘Square-groove butt joints can be welded without filler metal in base metals up to 2.5 mm thick.’
    • ‘Other advantages are produced in magnesium, gold, zinc, and other base metals.’
    • ‘They spent the Middle Ages in candle-lit laboratories, laboring to brew universal elixirs and to turn base metals into gold or silver.’
    • ‘Since English hallmarking laws prohibited mixing precious and base metals in a single object, Americans were able to take the lead in popularizing mixed-metal objects.’
    • ‘In fact, copper and other base metals have eased to higher prices since that dramatic decline earlier in the month.’
    • ‘Anglo American's mining interests include platinum, gold, coal and a range of base metals such as copper, zinc and nickel.’
    • ‘As the most industrialized country in the region, South Africa is a major exporter of precious and semiprecious metals, base metals, and mineral products.’
    • ‘Within these belts, gold mineralization is associated with rare metals, base metals, uranium, antimony, and mercury.’
    • ‘Alloy steel, copper, lead, zinc and base metals are basic raw materials used in a variety of industries.’
    • ‘Our economy is driven by diamonds, base metals, a little bit of precious metals, a few other commodities, fish, beef and tourism.’
    • ‘A thin covering of pure silver is applied to a base metal, often copper or nickel, by means of electrolysis.’
    • ‘Designs are able to encompass a diversity of materials, combining precious and base metals which are often flamboyantly coloured.’
    • ‘While she wasn't seeking to turn base metals into precious ones, her knowledge of practical botanical alchemy was thorough.’
    • ‘And the original law also excluded archaeologically significant coins of base metals, helmets of iron and bronze, and so on.’
    • ‘Its focus is on gold but its portfolio also includes projects with potential for platinum group metals, copper, silver and base metals.’
    • ‘It was, however, the increased need for base metals (lead, zinc, and copper) during World War II that sparked a renewal of interest in the Telluride district.’
    • ‘He explained that Ongopolo mines and processes base metal, mainly copper, but also associated precious metals such as gold and silver.’


base metal

/ˈbās ˌmedl//ˈbeɪs ˌmɛdl/