American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1

Author: Noah Webster


AN’TIMONY, n. [Low L. antimonium.]

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.