Definition of quicksilver in English:

quicksilver

noun

  • 1The liquid metal mercury.

    • ‘Quacks or quack salvers are named from quicksilver ointment peddlers who treated syphilis in the 16th century.’
    • ‘It is the secret, the mystery of quicksilver, that a metal of such enormous density can yet remain liquid.’
    • ‘Mercury has long been known also by the name quicksilver, because it is a silver liquid.’
    • ‘California exported nearly all its silver to Asian markets, as well as much of its quicksilver [mercury], which was a key new element in improving the extraction of precious metals from ore.’
    • ‘By increasing the amount of mercury allowed in coal-fired power plant emissions, he will ensure that every fish in every Great Lake contains unsafe levels of quicksilver.’
    • ‘Kepler noted with satisfaction that it would be appropriate to correlate the sun with gold, the density of which is greater than that of quicksilver.’
    volatile, capricious, temperamental, excitable, fickle, changeable, unpredictable, variable, protean, mutable, erratic, quicksilver, inconstant, inconsistent, unstable, unsteady, fluctuating, ever-changing, kaleidoscopic, fluid, wavering, vacillating, moody, flighty, wayward, whimsical, giddy, impulsive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used in similes and metaphors to describe something that moves or changes very quickly, or that is difficult to hold or contain.
      ‘his mood changed like quicksilver’
      • ‘The staff are pure class, the martini's pure quicksilver - immaculate.’
      • ‘Those environmentally-conscious Australians have extracted the chlorine from this quicksilver Olympic pool, so one of the most drug - scarred sports has even less chance of washing itself clean.’
      • ‘Drop your guard for a moment, and your hard-won gains slip like quicksilver from your grasp, leaving a muscle group to lag behind others or your rock-hard density to melt.’
      • ‘Instead, more interest is shown in offshore locales like Bermuda, Ireland, Switzerland or Hong Kong, where governments work hard to make themselves attractive to quicksilver capital.’
      • ‘They view political power as a quicksilver that is always everywhere at once in society, and therefore nowhere in particular.’
      • ‘The mind goes like quicksilver to the simple solution to a case and it would have seemed to me that the issue in this case is a very simple one.’
      • ‘Ed Blackwell plays it straight for the most part, with only occasional flashes of the quicksilver rhythmic trickery he excelled at.’
      • ‘Her quicksilver changes of intent, complex multiple qualities, polyrhythms, and opposing body parts warred with Anderson's weeping strings to create a moving picture of grief.’
      • ‘And then, like quicksilver, the New York Times editor who vowed to stay was gone.’
      • ‘The music of Chopin is like quicksilver to the ear; Beethoven is moonlight and butterflies for the soul.’
      • ‘Yao Wei - a new ensemble member from Shanghai - entered like a quicksilver breeze, tenuously anchored to earth by beautifully arched feet.’
      • ‘And yet one reason that Picasso became an emblematic artist was that his chaotic inner life was a kind of cultural quicksilver, spilling outward to reflect larger social themes.’
      • ‘What she made present to the audience was a quicksilver mind as well as a radiant body.’
      • ‘His enthusiasm was as legendary as his quicksilver movement from one scientific interest to another.’
      • ‘Even if he danced at his best, he could not display the same quicksilver in jumps and polished tours, and his presence was less compelling and majestic.’
      • ‘Much depends on the form of Ajax's quicksilver striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so Swedes will hope that he actually makes it to Portugal.’
      • ‘Although Merlis' prose remains as fluid as quicksilver, the narrative thrust progressively dwindles as Joel's quixotic journey nears its end.’
      • ‘Money was like quicksilver - hard to get a hold of and harder yet to keep in hand.’
      • ‘The piano bench remains unoccupied as the instrument's keys appear to be struck by the quicksilver fingers of four absent hands - perhaps those of Isenstein and her sidekick.’
      • ‘Only the lizards seemed charmed by the sun, sliding like quicksilver among the crannies in the walls.’

Pronunciation:

quicksilver

/ˈkwikˌsilvər/