ETYM German, from Swed. nickel, abbrev. from Swed. kopparnickel copper-nickel, a name given in derision, as it was thought to be a base ore of copper. The origin of the second part of the word is uncertain. Related to Kupfer-nickel, Copper-nickel.
Hard, malleable and ductile, silver-white metallic element, symbol Ni, atomic number 28, atomic weight 58.71. It occurs in igneous rocks and as a free metal (native metal), occasionally occurring in fragments of iron-nickel meteorites. It is a component of the Earth's core, which is held to consist principally of iron with some nickel. It has a high melting point, low electrical and thermal conductivity, and can be magnetized. It does not tarnish and therefore is much used for alloys, electroplating, and for coinage.
It was discovered in 1751 by Swedish mineralogist Axel Cronstedt (1722–1765) and the name given as an abbreviated form of kopparnickel, Swedish “false copper”, since the ore in which it is found resembles copper but yields none.1. A us coin worth one twentieth of a dollar.
2. A hard malleable ductile silvery metallic element that is resistant to corrosion; used in alloys; occurs in pentlandite and smaltite and garnierite and millerite; SYN. Ni, atomic number 28.