General English

General Science

  • noun an alloy mainly of iron and carbon

Cars & Driving

  • noun an alloy of iron containing a small percentage of carbon


  • Any of a number of alloys of iron and carbon, with small amounts of other metals added to achieve special properties. The alloys are generally hard, strong, durable, and malleable.


  • A tapering rod either of hardened steel with very small longitudinal sharp edged grooves, carborundum stone or diamond dust coated metal, used to put a sharp edge on knife blades. The knife blade is stroked across and down the steel at an angle of about 45° or less on either side removing a small amount of metal from the edge. After considerable sharpening on a steel a knife needs to be reground professionally.


  • noun a metal, made of iron and carbon, which is used in the production of armour, weapons and vehicles


  • noun a rod of rough metal with a handle, used for sharpening knives

Origin & History of “steel”

Steel is etymologically a ‘firm’ substance. The word goes back to a prehistoric west Germanic *stakhlam, which was derived from the Germanic base *stakh-, *stagh- ‘be firm’ (source also of English stay ‘rope, support’). It has Germanic relatives in German stahl and Dutch staal.