Department of Computer Science
Computation, Information, and Description
The University of Iowa
The Self-Incrimination Principle
Definition of "antimony"
To be confused with "antinomy." Not to
be confused with "arsenic."
From Webster's New World Dictionary.
- a silvery-white, brittle, metallic chemical element found only
in combination: used in alloys to harden them.
From the Oxford English Dictionary.
- antimony [ad. med.L. antimnium, of unknown origin,
used by Constantinus Africanus of Salerno (Chaucer's `cursed monk, daun
Constantyn,' Merch. T. 566), in end of 11th c., whence also in all the
- Prob., like other terms of alchemy, a corruption of some Arabic word,
refashioned so as to wear a Gr. or L. aspect-perhaps, as has been
suggested, of the Arabic name uthmud, othmod, itself, latinized as
athimodium, atimodium, atimonium, antimonium. The earlier form of the
is ithmid, in which Littre suggests an adaptation (quasi isthimmid) of
Gr. ot uuio-a variant of ot uui, whence also L. stibium. If this
conjecture be substantiated, antimonium and stibium will be
of the same word. `Popular etymology' has analyzed Fr. antimoine as vti
+ moine against the monks (`monks'-bane'), and, as usual in such
cases, supported the derivation by an idle tale (see Johnson), making
the name originate (more than 400 years too late) with the chemist Basil
Valentine, in end of 15th c.]
1 One of the elementary bodies, a brittle metallic substance, of
bright bluish white colour and flaky crystalline texture. Its metallic
characteristics are less pronounced than those of the metals generally;
and it forms the fourth member of the natural series nitrogen,
phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and some others, which are in
different combinations triads and pentads. Symbol Sb (Stibium).
a Alchem. and Pharm. Originally applied to the native trisulphide
(called also gray antimony, or Stibnite; or when calcined and powdered,
crude or black antimony), the ot uui, ot Bi, n>atu o0a>-uov, stibium of
the ancients, and al-koh'l of the Arabs, used to stain the eyelids (see
ALCOHOL); the antimonium, proteus, leo ruber, plumbum nigrum, lupus
metallorum of the alchemists.
butter of antimony, an old name of the trichloride, `a translucent
fatty mass'; crocus of antimony, an impure sulphide of antimony and
sodium, formed as a scoria in smelting antimony; flowers of antimony,
crystals of the trioxide formed when the metal is sublimed; glass of
antimony, an oxy-sulphide fused; saffron of antimony = red antimony (see
1477 NORTON Ord. Alch. in Ashm. 1652 iii. 39 Is Antimony, Arsenick,
Honey, Wax and Wine. 1585 LLOYD Treas. Health D ij, A lyke vertue hath
Antimonium, receyuyd wyth water. 1605 TIMME Quersit. xiii. 58 From this
tree of Saturne springeth antimony, as the first branch of the stock
which the phylosophers cal their magnesia. 1646 SIR T. BROWNE Pseud. Ep.
53 Stibium or glasse of Antimony, appears somewhat red in glasse, but in
its powder yellow. 1689 Gazophyl. Angl., Antimony, a famous Mineral
amongst Chymists..It certainly comes from the Arab Atimad, signifying
the same. 1751 CHAMBERS Cycl., Antimony is what we properly call a
semi-metal, being a fossil substance composed of some undertermined
metal, combined with a sulphurous and stony substance. Sometimes there
are veins of a red or golden colour intermixed, from which it is called
male antimony; that without them being denominated female.
b Chem. The simple element. (Called by earlier chemists regulus of
1788 HOWARD Encycl. 133 Pure regulus of antimony is a bright
semimetal resembling tin or dusky silver. It is one of the lightest
metallic bodies. 1812 DAVY Chem. Philos. 400 Basil Valentine is the
first chemist who has described the process of extracting antimony from
the sulphuret, though it does not appear that he was the inventor of
this process. 1866 RUSKIN Ethics of Dust 77 Sulphide of antimony..looks
like mere purple wool, but it is all of purple needle crystals. 1875 URE
Dict. Arts I. 196 Native Antimony is a mineral of a tin-white colour and
streak, and of a metallic lustre. 1879 Academy 27 Dec. 467 [Wurtz]
asserts that although antimony is usually regarded as a metal, it must,
in a true chemical classification, find its place by the side of
arsenic, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
2 with qualifications: arsenical antimony, the mineral Allemontite;
gray antimony, the native sulphide of antimony, called as a mineral
Stibnite or Antimonite; red antimony, the mineral Kermesite, a compound
of the oxide and sulphide; white antimony, antimony trioxide, the
mineral Valentinite; sulphurated antimony, the sulphide with a small
admixture of the oxide, used in medicine; tartarated antimony, tartar
3 attrib., as in antimony oxide, sulphide, ores, etc. spec. antimony
blende = red antimony; antimony bloom = white antimony; antimony glance
= gray antimony (see 2); antimony ochre, the mineral Cervantite;
antimony vermilion, a red pigment precipitated from an antimonial solution.
1860 PIESSE Lab. Chem. Wond. 80 The antimony mines are chiefly in
Hungary, Transylvania and Germany. 1863 WATTS Dict. Chem. I. 311
is found in combination with oxygen, viz. as trioxide, in the form of
antimony bloom, white antimony, or Valentinite, SbO, and as
tetroxide, antimony ochre or Cervantite, SbO. 1875 URE Dict. Arts
I. 195 Antimony Glance..sometimes occurs compact, but usually in very
long prismatic or acicular crystals, or in a fibrous form.
Last modified: 19 December 1996
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