Definition for AN'TI-MO-NY

AN'TI-MO-NY, n. [Fr. antimoine; Low L. antimonium; It. antimonio; Sp. id. This by some writers is supposed to be composed of anti and Fr. moine, monk, from the fact that certain monks were poisoned by it. This story, reported by Furetiero, is treated by Morin as fabulous, and by him it is said to be composed of Gr. αντι, against, and μονος, alone, and so named because it is not found alone. The real truth is not ascertained.]

Primarily, a metallic ore consisting of sulphur combined with a metal; the sulphuret of antimony, the stibium of the Romans, and the στιμμι of the Greeks. It is a blackish mineral, which stains the hands, hard, brittle, full of long, shining, needle-like striæ. It is found in the mines of Bohemia and Hungary; in France and England, and in America. This word is also used for the pure metal or regulus of antimony, a metal of a grayish or silvery white, very brittle, and of a plated or scaly texture, and of moderate specific gravity. By exposure to air, its surface becomes tarnished, but does not rust. It is used us an ingredient in concave mirrors, giving them a finer texture. In bells, it renders the sound more clear; it renders tin more hard, white and sonorous, and gives to printing types more firmness and smoothness. It is also useful in promoting the fusion of metals, and especially in casting cannon balls. In its crude state, it is harmless to the human constitution; but many of its preparations act violently as emetics and cathartics. – Chambers. Encyc. Nicholson.

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