Definition of metallic in US English:



  • 1Relating to or resembling metal or metals.

    ‘metallic alloys’
    ‘a curious metallic taste’
    • ‘Hailey bit down on her lip in an effort to stop another dam of tears threatening to break loose; tasting metallic blood and her salty tears intermingle.’
    • ‘Seeds and plants on the earth find numerous metallic salts and elements essential for their growth here in these rain drops.’
    • ‘This is a very attractive car and, with the metallic paint and standard alloys, it looks even better.’
    • ‘Some people find that meat has a metallic taste.’
    • ‘Just to clarify, antimony is a metallic element on the periodic table.’
    • ‘The reduced metal typically forms a metallic alloy on the cathode.’
    • ‘To keep caviar from absorbing a slight metallic taste from metal servers and utensils, present it on glass, shell, or bone.’
    • ‘Almost all of the popular family saloons now have a two-door, sportier-looking sibling that is usually dressed up in alloys and metallic paint.’
    • ‘As a result, some of the elements of the metal or alloy change from a metallic state into a non-metallic state.’
    • ‘Heavy metals are metallic elements that have a high atomic number and are poisonous to living organisms.’
    • ‘The heavier metallic elements, some of which living systems also require, are formed only in very massive stars during supernova explosions.’
    • ‘It generally requires special treatment to mitigate its rather bitter, metallic taste.’
    • ‘Early symptoms, such as a metallic taste, tinnitus, lightheadedness, and confusion, are followed by tremors and shivering.’
    • ‘The metallic taste was in his mouth, making him gag.’
    • ‘But in any case there is no such thing - chlorine is simply not an element that can form a metallic alloy, as opposed to an ionic compound with a metal.’
    • ‘I coughed and tasted the metallic bitterness of blood.’
    • ‘Instead of the usual metallic zinc taste it was more like something sweet, like syrup or nectar.’
    • ‘The rare earth elements comprise a group of 17 trivalent metallic elements with similar chemical properties.’
    • ‘The walls and the podiums were made of some kind of shiny metallic, silver alloy.’
    • ‘This distinction is always made for the element carbon, and there is no scientific justification for treating metallic elements differently.’
    1. 1.1 (of sound) resembling that produced by metal objects striking each other; sharp and ringing.
      ‘the terrifying, metallic clamor of the fire-engine bell’
      • ‘The loud metallic sound is startling and helps add impact to your verbal correction.’
      • ‘There are a lot of echoes, for instance, and these either stretch the small metallic sounds out into drones or create sharp, stuttering rhythms.’
      • ‘It clanged to the ground making a tinny metallic sound.’
      • ‘The figure laughs and I cringe at the raucous, metallic sound that sounds from the image of my mouth.’
      • ‘I will not have the background music be loud drums and metallic sounds that makes it impossible for the audience to hear what is being said.’
      • ‘Now and again, you could hear the unmistakable metallic sound of snow shovels banging into concrete sidewalks, along with the deep rumble of a passing plow.’
      • ‘A metallic buzz sounded from the far corner of the workroom.’
      • ‘She started to run her fingers though my hair and just when it was starting to get exciting a loud metallic sound echoed off the walls.’
      • ‘With a gasp, his head jerked left as a metallic sound echoed through the room.’
      • ‘Gamblers aren't shying away from them, though some dedicated coin droppers dislike the loss of the metallic sounds of money changing hands.’
      • ‘At that precise moment, a gong near the entrance way was sounded, the metallic clang echoing around the Great Hall.’
      • ‘They all checked their guns and loaded them to a collection of clicks and metallic sounds.’
      • ‘When alarmed they utter a sharp metallic clinking sound rather like that made by a hammer striking an anvil.’
      • ‘Victor's flaming sword clashed against the blackness of Jack's sword with a sharp metallic clang.’
      • ‘He heard a sharp, metallic sound that made his blood run cold through his veins.’
      • ‘A sharp metallic clang could be heard, echoing throughout the whole forest stirring up many different animals from even miles away.’
      • ‘It reached back, pulling out a sword with the sound of metal on the sheath, a ringing, metallic sound that foretold doom.’
      • ‘The sound can be a raucous metallic clangour or it can be as soft as notes on velvet.’
      • ‘There was a confusion of footsteps as the Russian boys barreled down the steps, still calling to each other, and then the metallic sound repeated itself.’
      • ‘For starters the three M - 16s bumped into each other with metallic clicks.’
      tinny, jangling, jangly, jingling, jingly, plinky
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a person's voice); emanating or as if emanating via an electronic medium.
      ‘a metallic voice rasped tinnily from a concealed speaker’
      • ‘Then a metallic voice came through the speakers.’
      • ‘The voice which erupted was metallic in nature and seemed much older than Chrome herself even was.’
      • ‘‘This area is off-limits to tourists at the moment,’ it intoned in a metallic voice.’
      • ‘It stated more that asked in a hissing, metallic voice.’
      • ‘A sharp voice, hard and metallic, spoke to the professor, biting off each word as if it were chewing its sentences.’
      • ‘His voice had a metallic quality as if the modulation was slightly out of sequence.’
      • ‘He smiles up at her and the metallic voice simply says, ‘Hello.’’
      • ‘It swung open with a heavy metallic moan, and I was shoved inside the dark room.’
      • ‘‘Step out of the room with your hands raised and you will note be harmed,’ a cold, metallic voice commanded.’
      • ‘‘How strange’ the figure said in a raspy metallic voice, not dissimilar to X's.’
      • ‘Flames will engulf your feet, roasting them with agonizing slowness while a grating metallic voice repeatedly says the name and slogan of a product.’
      • ‘Her laugh was metallic like her smile, and I wondered what she was thinking.’
      • ‘‘If I am to take over the world, I will do it without waiting so long,’ said the Ruler in a deep metallic voice.’
      • ‘The metallic voice from the square grill above the buzzer interrupted my deliberations.’
      • ‘‘Royal guard please come in,’ a metallic voice said into Nathan's communicator.’
      • ‘His voice was slightly metallic, air whistling through a trachea-ring.’
      • ‘Brightly colored birds flew across the sky, calling out in metallic sitar voices, and Seiriô watched them.’
      • ‘The taller one spoke next, breaking the silence with his voice echoing throughout the metallic rafters high above them.’
      • ‘The strong yet soothing metallic voice filled the room.’
      • ‘Would the recording be of a metallic grating voice?’
    3. 1.3 Having the sheen or luster of metal.
      ‘a metallic green sports car’
      • ‘Arowanas come in three shades, silver, metallic green and gold.’
      • ‘She frowned as she saw a tall, burgundy-haired vampire dressed in a bright metallic green laced up top and bell bottoms walk up behind the elfin boy.’
      • ‘The latter mineral, a sulphide of iron, has a shiny metallic lustre and was often mistaken for gold itself: it is the infamous fool's gold.’
      • ‘He picked a dark-aqua guitar that was iridescent and metallic.’
      • ‘Since then the metallic green Asian beetle has destroyed six million trees in Michigan.’
      • ‘Her fur, a deep blue-grey, had a softness that belied its almost metallic lustre.’
      • ‘Bright green metallic fronds, in the shape of palm trees, still branch out from their stands.’
      • ‘It also has a strange green, metallic note at its heart.’
      • ‘Its particles have a dull metallic lustre, far less brilliant than that of gold.’
      • ‘There are mallards galore, the males with their metallic green heads and the females a dowdy brown, and busy little black scaups, bobbing like bath toys.’
      • ‘One of the girls wearing a metallic green jacket spotted Zack and ran over to him.’
      • ‘By the time we reach our second dive site, at Penguin Cove, the sun is shining and the water has brightened to an almost metallic green.’
      • ‘He ran down the metallic green hallway, the echo of his footfalls bouncing from wall to wall.’
      • ‘They have large, prominent eyes, and metallic green leathery forewings with small light spots and coppery-green legs.’
      • ‘Does he remember the metallic green Butterfly male that grabbed his hand in the dark?’
      • ‘Officers said a ‘suspicious’ light green or light blue metallic Ford Focus had been seen in the area before the break in.’
      • ‘He turned around, his metallic green tights glinting in the sunlight, his open vest with vines stitched on only one side.’
      • ‘Trochilines often have iridescent feathers of metallic red, orange, green and blue.’
      • ‘It's a brilliant metallic green beetle, about one-half inch long and about a quarter of an inch wide, so it's pretty good-sized.’
      • ‘I was completely encased head to toe in metallic green Lycra and nobody cared.’
      metallized, burnished
      View synonyms


  • A paint, fiber, fabric, or color with a metallic sheen.

    ‘dresses that shine with sequins and metallics’
    • ‘Ancient Spice is a Bohemian look blending metallics with the warmth and vibrancy of powdered, spicy shades.’
    • ‘There also are burnished metallics and grass cloths in boldly scaled weaves.’
    • ‘White, metallics and other washed out colours, (such as grey and khaki) dominated the collection.’
    • ‘He believed that more metallics could be created by adding amounts of the four coloured inks used in every printing press to a single base ink containing a silver pigment.’
    • ‘She likes to experiment with composition leaf, 22K gold, silver leaf, combinations of metallics, irridescents, and interference paints, although acrylics are still her passion.’
    • ‘I feel that metallics add the three-dimensional quality which reflects the light.’
    • ‘Color trends on the horizon include the significant rise in the use of color ‘effects’ like metallics, opalescents and colors that change depending on the light sources.’
    • ‘‘We keep our suedes, textures, metallics and fabrics intermingled with rag mats,’ said Christine Knoll.’
    • ‘About five years ago, our designers allowed people to select from a variety of very bold, bright colors: greens, oranges, yellows as well as metallics with a special hue, things like liquid crystal paint.’
    • ‘Silver is still desirable, but other metallics and copper tones in costume jewellery are making inroads.’
    • ‘Iridescence - and similar effects such as metallics, pearlescence, and colors that change according to light - are finding their way into new products.’
    • ‘The problem with metallics, however, is that they can't be dry-cleaned, nor are these hand-crafted costumes machine washable.’
    • ‘Metallics and more metallics will shimmer and shine on many diverse materials.’
    • ‘Sure enough, she tossed the reds and metallics aside, but I still thought she looked pretty.’
    • ‘Dressier varieties for evening offer slimmer styles in metallics, patent leathers and bold colors.’
    • ‘The export sales manager, noted that the direction in trims was to ‘no-color’ effects such as earth tones, metallics and trims that fit into the silk fabric resurgence.’
    • ‘Cohen also notes that pearlized pigments and metallics in eye shadows do not affect shelf life.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the range of colors, including metallics, is in need of further development.’
    • ‘According to Richard Smith, sales manager and store manager, people want metallics with texture and novelty.’
    • ‘Christine Brown of Toyota says that in focus groups, buyers under 35 say they consider metallics as luxurious and futuristic.’


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek metallikos, from metallon (see metal).