- Also called: quicksilver, hydrargyrum. a heavy silvery-white toxic liquid element occurring principally in cinnabar: used in thermometers, barometers, mercury-vapour lamps, and dental amalgams. Symbol: Hg; atomic number: 80; atomic weight: 200.59; valency: 1 or 2; relative density: 13.546; melting point: -38.87C; boiling point: 356.58C.
- any plant of the euphorbiaceous genus Mercurialis.
- Archaic. a messenger or courier.
[C14: from Latin Mercurius messenger of Jupiter, god of commerce; related to merx merchandise]
- Roman myth. the messenger of the gods. Greek counterpart: Hermes.
- the smallest planet and the nearest to the sun. Mean distance from sun: 57,900,000kms; period of revolution around sun: 88 days; period of axial rotation: 59 days; diameter and mass: 38% and 5.4% that of Earth respectively.
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