Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, late 15th century
A mixture or blend.
An alloy of mercury with another metal, especially one used for dental fillings.
Examples of Amalgam in a sentence
"Her party menu was an amalgam of snack foods and fancy baked goods."
"The mark of old-fashioned dental work is the fillings amalgam, which might need to be replaced."
The origin of "amalgam" goes back to the Greek word "malagma," which means "emollient." The usage of "emollient" today is a skin-softening product, so the definitions have changed over the years. An emollient may be an amalgam (mixture) of ingredients, but not every amalgam is an emollient.
Did you Know?
Amalgam can be used to describe a mixture or blend of any materials, but the technical medical and dental definition concerns mercury blended with another metal. Mercury is an element that can be dangerous to humans, but it has safe uses when handled properly by professionals.