Mercurial

Definitions

  • "I would be strikin' as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo."
    "I would be strikin' as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj mercurial liable to sudden unpredictable change "erratic behavior","fickle weather","mercurial twists of temperament","a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next"
    • adj mercurial relating to or containing or caused by mercury "mercurial preparations","mercurial sore mouth"
    • adj Mercurial relating to or having characteristics (eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, thievishness) attributed to the god Mercury "more than Mercurial thievishness"
    • adj Mercurial relating to or under the (astrological) influence of the planet Mercury "the Mercurial canals"
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Additional illustrations & photos:

ORBITS OF MARS, THE EARTH, VENUS, AND MERCURY ORBITS OF MARS, THE EARTH, VENUS, AND MERCURY
Dog's Mercury Dog's Mercury

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If you were standing on Mercury, the Sun would appear 2.5 times larger than it appears from Earth
    • Mercurial A person having mercurial qualities.
    • Mercurial (Med) A preparation containing mercury.
    • Mercurial (Med) Caused by the use of mercury; as, mercurial sore mouth.
    • Mercurial Having the form or image of Mercury; -- applied to ancient guideposts.
    • Mercurial Having the qualities fabled to belong to the god Mercury; swift; active; sprightly; fickle; volatile; changeable; as, a mercurial youth; a mercurial temperament. "A mercurial man
      Who fluttered over all things like a fan."
    • Mercurial Of or pertaining to Mercury as the god of trade; hence, money-making; crafty. "The mercurial wand of commerce."
    • Mercurial Of or pertaining to, or containing, mercury; as, mercurial preparations, barometer. See Mercury, 2.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto.
    • mercurial [capitalized] Pertaining to the god Mercury; having the form or qualities attributed to Mercury.
    • mercurial Like Mercury in character; having the moral or mental qualities ascribed to the god Mercury, or supposed by astrologists to belong to those under his star, the planet Mercury; light-hearted; gay; active; sprightly; flighty; fickle; changeable; volatile.
    • mercurial Pertaining to Mercury as god of trade; hence, pertaining to trade or money-making: as, mercurial pursuits.
    • mercurial Pertaining to Mercury as herald; hence, giving intelligence; pointing out; directing.
    • mercurial Pertaining or relating to mercury or quicksilver. Containing or consisting of quicksilver or mercury: as. mercurial preparations or medicines.
    • n mercurial A person possessing any of the attributes of the god Mercury; one of mercurial temperament; a sprightly person; also, one given to trickery; a cheat or thief.
    • n mercurial A preparation of mercury used as a drug.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the sun in slightly less than 88 days.
    • adj Mercurial having the qualities said to belong to the god Mercury: active: sprightly: often changing: of or pertaining to trade: containing, or consisting of, mercury—also Mercū′ric
    • ***

Quotations

  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “They are as much for Mars, as for Mercury; as well qualified for war, as for business.”
  • David Hare
    David%20Hare
    “Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. mercurialis, fr. Mercurius, Mercury: cf. F. mercuriel,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. Mercuriusmerx, mercis, merchandise.

Usage

In literature:

Caron of Mars had sent him, Gray, to Mercury.
"A World is Born" by Leigh Douglass Brackett
Then it became calm, the sky was perfectly clear, and the mercury marked 40 degrees below zero.
"The Land of the Long Night" by Paul du Chaillu
Pluto and Phoebus Apollo were missing, and so were Mercury, Neptune, Dionysus and Diana.
"Pagan Passions" by Gordon Randall Garrett
The most reliable are AEthiops mineral, nux vomica, preparations of mercury, wormwood, etc.
"Cattle and Their Diseases" by Robert Jennings
This is best done by heating to a full red and quenching in mercury.
"On Laboratory Arts" by Richard Threlfall
Osmium 187 was stable, but it wasn't a normally used step toward Mercury 203.
"The Bramble Bush" by Gordon Randall Garrett
Inside, the real apparatus was arranged around the little pool of mercury.
"The Ultimate Weapon" by John Wood Campbell
Bruce would trust no one but himself to pour the mercury in the boxes.
"The Man from the Bitter Roots" by Caroline Lockhart
When fortunes such as these were gained, it is no wonder that Law should have been almost worshipped by the mercurial population.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
The mercury was falling rather rapidly.
"A Middy of the King" by Harry Collingwood
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In poetry:

Diana's hounds still lead the chase,
Still Neptune's Trident crests the sea,
And still man's spirit soars through space
On feathered heels of Mercury.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
Jove, Juno, Venus, where are you?
Mars, Mercury, Phoebus, Neptune, Saturn?
But o'er the world the Wandering Jew
Has borne the Fan's celestial pattern.
"The First Fan" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
'Tis known how the permanent never is writ
In blood of the passions: mercurial they,
Shifty their issue: stir not that pit
To the game our brutes best play.
"The Empty Purse--A Sermon To Our Later Prodigal Son" by George Meredith
MER. Compelled upon Olympus here to stop,
While the other gods go down to play the hero.
Don't be surprised if on this mountain top
You find your Mercury is down at zero.
"Thespis: Act I" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Like the scent of grass ascending,
Like the crazed rainfall's mercury, the foliage among,
He stupefied the bark, approached the mouth, panting,
And, halting there, upon a braid he hung.
"Margarita" by Boris Pasternak
Then fly with me, love, ere the summer's begun,
And the mercury mounts to one hundred and one;
Ere the grass now so green shall be withered and sear,
In the spring that obtains but one month in the year.
"California Madrigal" by Francis Bret Harte

In news:

Barbès Takes Manhattan, Monday at 7 pm, The Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston St, New York.
Mercury rev meth of a rockette's kick boces.
This is the newly restored 1954 Mercury XM-800 Concept car.
INTERVIEWS Queen's Freddie Mercury Will Perform as ' Optical Illusion '.
Freddie Mercury / Photo by Getty Images.
'Me and Orson Welles ' is a heartfelt movie about a theater-struck high school teenager unceremoniously ushered into the mercurial world of Orson Welles .
I applauded the safety cable Mercury installed between the tiller arms of the outboards .
It's a question of draft philosophy that Corey Gaines and the Phoenix Mercury will enjoy mulling over for the next six-plus months.
According to Greek legend, Zeus had the messenger god Mercury leave a mysterious box with Pandora.
Paper-trail advocate Mercuri said she is pleased with the results of the new poll.
Irene Cramer threaded her Mercury Mountaineer around fallen branches, slowing down in front of a.
CORPUS CHRISTI — Las Brisas Energy Center has agreed to lower pollution limits for mercury and tiny dust known as particulate matter.
CORPUS CHRISTI — Las Brisas Energy Center has agreed to lower pollution limits for mercury and tiny dust known as particulate matter .
OWI, a manufacturer of audio equipment for AV integrators, commercial, industrial, and residential markets, expanded its line of pendant loudspeakers to include a weatherized model, the Mercury Pendant Speaker.
Meyer, San Jose Mercury News).
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In science:

They are: a) Excitation of the line 2537 (a resonance line) of mercury.
On the Theory of Collisions between Atoms and Electrically Charged Particles
Experiments also exist that give, at least to an order of magnitude, the probability that atoms of mercury bombarded with slow electrons are excited.
On the Theory of Collisions between Atoms and Electrically Charged Particles
For example, we consider an atom of mercury, and take α(ν ) to be its absorption coefficient at the frequency ν .
On the Theory of Collisions between Atoms and Electrically Charged Particles
The confirmation of general relativity by Mercury’s perihelion precession would then be lost.
The physics of rotational flattening and the point core model
Lydon, T. J., and Sofia, S., A measurement of the shape of the solar disc (the solar quadrupole moment, the solar octopole moment, and the advance of the perihelion of the planet Mercury), Phys.
The physics of rotational flattening and the point core model
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