Definitions of mercurial

  1. liable to sudden unpredictable change; " erratic behavior"; " fickle weather"; " mercurial twists of temperament"; " a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next"
  2. relating to or under the ( astrological) influence of the planet Mercury; " the Mercurial canals"
  3. relating to or containing or caused by mercury; " mercurial preparations"; " mercurial sore mouth"
  4. relating to or having characteristics ( eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, thievishness) attributed to the god Mercury; " more than Mercurial thievishness"
  5. Having the qualities fabled to belong to the god Mercury; swift; active; sprightly; fickle; volatile; changeable; as, a mercurial youth; a mercurial temperament.
  6. Of or pertaining to, or containing, mercury; as, mercurial preparations, barometer. See Mercury, 2.
  7. Caused by the use of mercury; as, mercurial sore mouth.
  8. A person having mercurial qualities.
  9. A preparation containing mercury.
  10. Having the form or image of Mercury; - applied to ancient guideposts.
  11. Active; fickle; light- hearted; as, mercurial youth; pertaining to, made of, or caused by, mercury, or quicksilver.
  12. 1. Relating to mercury. 2. Any salt of mercury employed medicinally.
  13. Pertaining to mercury.
  14. Having the qualities said to belong to the god Mercury: active: sprightly: containing or consisting of mercury.
  15. Sprightly; vivacious; containing mercury.
  16. Pertaining to the god Mercury; lively; volatile.
  17. Of or relating to quicksilver.
  18. Pertaining to consisting of, or due to quicksilver; like the god Mercury; active; flighty; fickle; changeable; pertaining to trade or trading.
  19. Active; sprightly; versatile; consisting of or containing mercury or quicksilver.

Usage examples for mercurial

  1. Whether impressed by the tone of his brother's voice, or only affected by his own mercurial nature, Arthur changed the subject to further voluble reminiscences of his trip to Angel's. – The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories by Bret Harte
  2. Reddin sat brooding until Hazel, recovering first in her mercurial way, said: 'Now I've come, I mun bide. – Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
  3. But you're such a mercurial creature that you'll probably wake up tomorrow morning with your soul steeped in indigo. – Black Oxen by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  4. It may be supposed that Algernon had angry sensations at sight of Robert; and to a certain extent this was the case; but he was a mercurial youth, and one who had satisfactorily proved superior strength enjoyed a portion of his respect. – The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith by George Meredith
  5. 2572. Should the symptoms remain unabated after a few hours, apply one or two leeches to the throat, and put mustard poultices to the foot and thighs, retaining them about eight minutes; and, in extreme cases, a mustard poultice to the spine between the shoulders, and at the same time rub mercurial ointment into the armpits and the angles of the jaws. – The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton
  6. In summer, on cloudy and stormy days, mercurial vapors rise more readily and quickly than in the temperature of autumn or winter. – American Handbook of the Daguerrotype by Samuel D. Humphrey
  7. She remained thus a long while, with body motionless, though her fingers continued to toy with the bit of heavy silk, as if keeping pace with some mercurial rush of thoughts. – A Man and His Money by Frederic Stewart Isham
  8. The mercurial Percy's face shone again. – No Man's Land by H. C. McNeile
  9. Philip leant gloomily against the wall; Krantz, more mercurial, walked up and down three steps each way and turn. – The Phantom Ship by Captain Frederick Marryat
  10. She had to copy the mercurial spirits of Rose and May. – A Houseful of Girls by Sarah Tytler
  11. He has had no mercurial trouble since then. – The Electric Bath by George M. Schweig
  12. Hawksworth's mercurial relationship with the Moghul and his experiences at the Moghul's court were re- created in part from the letters and diaries of William Hawkins and those of his successor, Sir Thomas Roe. – The Moghul by Thomas Hoover
  13. Flue- gas temperatures are nearly always taken with mercurial thermometers as they are the most accurate and are easy to read and manipulate. – Steam, Its Generation and Use by Babcock & Wilcox Co.
  14. The light, mercurial spirit which he had from nature and his unfortunate mother, and which he had retained in spite of the stern training he had received at his adoptive father's hands, was heavy- fettered now. – The Lion's Skin by Rafael Sabatini
  15. He was a very remarkable man, most extraordinary in his way; an original man, a peculiar individual; of mercurial temper, various, quick, sympathetic, brave, whole- hearted, generous, but all in his own fashion. – Recollections and Impressions 1822-1890 by Octavius Brooks Frothingham
  16. The mercurial youth seems to have no idea that within an hour he will be jeopardizing his head by engaging in a foolhardy enterprise which runs counter to the whole policy of the Turkish Empire. – The Slaves of the Padishah by Mór Jókai
  17. She had always been a slim creature of moods mercurial; she would always be that. – Then I'll Come Back to You by Larry Evans
  18. But our business being now rather with him than Percival, we leave the latter to mount his cabriolet, and we proceed with Mr. Mivers's mercurial guest on his eccentric way through the throng. – Lucretia, Complete by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  19. The mercurial rise in Robin's spirits betrayed itself in the tones of his voice. – The Vision of Desire by Margaret Pedler