Webster 1913 Edition
antimonium, of unknown origin.]
An elementary substance, resembling a metal in its appearance and physical properties, but in its chemical relations belonging to the class of nonmetallic substances. Atomic weight, 120. Symbol, Sb.
☞ It is of tin-white color, brittle, laminated or crystalline, fusible, and vaporizable at a rather low temperature. It is used in some metallic alloys, as
bell metal, and also for medical preparations, which are in general emetics or cathartics. By ancient writers, and some moderns, the term is applied to native
gray ore of antimony, or
stibnite(the stibium of the Romans, and the
στίμμιof the Greeks, a sulphide of antimony, from which most of the antimony of commerce is obtained.
valentiniteare native oxides of antimony.
Webster 1828 Edition
Primarily, a metallic ore consisting of sulphur combined with a metal; the sulphuret of antimony, the stibium of the Romans and of the Greeks. It is a blackish mineral, which stains the hands, hard, brittle, full of long, shining, needlelike striae. 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 of 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 as 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. It has also a peculiar efficacy in promoting the secretions, particularly as a sudorific.