- A dense liquid metallic element, atomic no. 80, atomic wt. 200.59; used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, and other scientific instruments; some salts and organic mercurials are used medicinally; care must be followed with its handling; 197Hg (half-life of 2.672 days) and 203Hg (half-life of 46.61 days) have been used in brain and renal scanning. SYN: hydrargyrum, quicksilver. [L. Mercurius, M., the god of trade, messenger of the gods; in Mediev. L., quicksilver, m.]- ammoniated m. used in ointment for the treatment of skin diseases. SYN: ammoniated mercuric chloride, white mercuric precipitate.- m. biniodide SYN: mercuric iodide, red.- m. deutoiodide SYN: mercuric iodide, red.- m. protoiodide SYN: mercurous iodide.- m. subsalicylate SYN: mercuric salicylate.
* * *1) a heavy silver-white poisonous metallic element that is liquid at ordinary temperatures and used esp. in scientific instruments symbol Hg called also quicksilver see ELEMENT (table)2) a pharmaceutical preparation containing mercury or a compound of it Mercury Roman mythological character. In Roman mythology Mercury became identified with the Greek god Hermes. This god was known especially as the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. He was also the god of science and the arts and the patron of travelers and athletes. He is typically represented in art as a young man wearing a winged helmet and winged sandals and bearing a caduceus. The metal mercury was named after him most probably because he symbolizes mobility.
* * *n.a silvery metallic element that is liquid at room temperature. Its toxicity has caused a decline in the use of its compounds in medicine during this century; mercurial compounds were formerly used in the treatment of syphilis and as purgatives, teething pastes and powders, fungicides, and antiparasitic agents. Mercury is widely used in dentistry as a component of amalgam fillings; when the mercury is combined with the filling alloy, it is nontoxic. Symbol: Hg. See also mercurialism, pink disease.
* * *mer·cu·ry (Hg) (murґkūr-e) a metallic element, liquid at ordinary temperatures; atomic number, 80; atomic weight 200.59, specific gravity 13.546. It is insoluble in ordinary solvents, partially soluble in boiling hydrochloric acid, and soluble in nitric acid. It forms two sets of compounds: mercurous, in which a single atom of mercury combines with a monovalent radical, and mercuric, in which a single atom of mercury combines with a bivalent radical. The mercuric salts are more soluble and irritant than the mercurous ones. Mercury and its salts have been used medicinally, but because of the risk of mercury poisoning (see under poisoning) their use has diminished.
Medical dictionary. 2011.