Dictionary » F » Flint



1. (Science: chemical) a massive, somewhat impure variety of quartz, in colour usually of a gray to brown or nearly black, breaking with a conchoidal fracture and sharp edge. It is very hard, and strikes fire with steel.

2. A piece of flint for striking fire; formerly much used, especially. In the hammers of gun locks.

3. Anything extremely hard, unimpressible, and unyielding, like flint. A heart of flint. flint age.

An obsolete appliance for lighting the miner at his work, in which flints on a revolving wheel were made to produce a shower of sparks, which gave light, but did not inflame the fire damp. Flint stone, a hard, siliceous stone; a flint. Flint wall, a kind of wall, common in England, on the face of which are exposed the black surfaces of broken flints set in the mortar, with quions of masonry. Liquor of flints, a solution of silica, or flints, in potash. To skin a flint, to be capable of, or guilty of, any expedient or any meanness for making money.

Origin: as. Flint, akin to Sw. Flinta, dan. Flint; cf. OHG. Flins flint, g. Flinte gun (cf. E. Flintlock), perh. Akin to gr. Brick. Cf. Plinth.

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