Adjective "mercurial" definition and examples

Pronunciation

/məːˈkjʊərɪəl/

Definitions and examples

adjective

Subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind.
  1. 'Rhea's temperament was infamously mercurial - one would never know what she was thinking, or when she might strike.'
  2. 'He is mercurial, unpredictable and headstrong.'
  3. 'During his four years in office, Mr. Chen has proven to be a mercurial and unpredictable leader.'
  4. 'Jim's mind is mercurial, but I like his company more than anything.'
  5. 'Mrs. Lincoln became known as much for her fashion sense as her mercurial temperament and place in history.'
  6. 'Their awkwardness, overextended maturity, mercurial temperaments, and easy companionship were all spot on.'
  7. 'One of the most talented and versatile Scottish performers, McKidd is mesmerising as Frankie, capturing all the mercurial moods of a man who can switch from sentimentality to aggression at the flick of a switchblade.'
  8. 'Okada projected the mercurial shift of moods in Beethoven's Fantasie Op 77 with resonant sonority.'
  9. 'No decision of importance could be made without the chairman, and he was mercurial, often changing his mind once a decision had been made.'
  10. 'Could it be my mercurial temper, causing many rash actions or hurtful, wicked comments?'
Of or containing the element mercury.
  1. 'The mercurial bromide was re-extracted and analyzed by capillary gas chromatography/electron capture detector, using an internal standard for quantification.'
  2. 'Mercury amalgams are used in dentistry, and mercurial aids such as the thermometer and blood pressure apparatus aid the doctor.'
  3. 'I shuffled off to where he'd pointed, feeling a cold bar of mercurial metal, like in thermometers, stretch from the first bone of my chest, and settling into the pit of my stomach.'
  4. 'To determine the extent to which mercury-sensitive water channels are involved in the control of root water flow, mercurial inhibition of root water flow was also examined using a pressure-flux approach.'
  5. 'In acute LV failure with pulmonary edema, phlebotomy, rotating tourniquets, and parenteral mercurial diuretics were effective.'
  6. 'And don't forget ‘liquid metal,’ dynamically controlled mercurial globs you can push around on your canvas.'
Of the planet Mercury.
  1. 'The odour of Mercurial herbs is described as ‘highly subtle and penetrating, refreshing to the heart and brain.’'
  2. 'As for Venus, the dates of Mercurial transits are spaced by six months: they all fall within a few days of May 8 and November 10.'
  3. 'The agate stones have a very earthy, grounding influence, which can be invaluable to the Mercurial personality.'
  4. 'Tejat and Dirah are both located in the left foot of Pollux, so traditionally share the Mercurial / Venus nature.'

noun

A drug or other compound containing mercury.
  1. 'Results from experiments with mercurials must be viewed with caution because mercury also blocks the pores of other transmembrane proteins, some of which are involved in ion transport.'
  2. 'Before the cancellation of the volatile mercurials, fungicides for treating seed were generally classified as volatile and non-volatile.'
  3. 'Special multiwall or tightly woven bags are recommended for seed that has been treated with mercurials or similarly toxic substances.'
  4. 'Inhibition of water flow by mercurials in membrane vesicles, individual root cells and whole root systems points to the importance of aquaporins in the regulation of water flow through root systems.'

Definitions

1. changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: a mercurial nature.

2. animated; lively; sprightly; quick-witted.

3. pertaining to, containing, or caused by the metal mercury.

4. (initial capital letter) of or relating to the god Mercury.

5. (initial capital letter) of or relating to the planet Mercury. noun

6. Pharmacology. a preparation of mercury used as a drug.

More examples(as adjective)

"strikers can be mercurial."

"stars can be mercurial."

"careers can be mercurial."

"playmakers can be mercurial."

"people can be mercurial."

More examples++

Origin

Late Middle English (in mercurial (sense 3 of the adjective)): from Latin mercurialis ‘relating to the god Mercury’, from Mercurius ‘Mercury’. mercurial (sense 1 of the adjective) dates from the mid 17th century.