adamantium n.

a metal alloy having exceptional strength

Now chiefly referring to a steel-based alloy in the Marvel universe, esp. as the substance forming the skeleton and claws of the character Wolverine.

[pseudo-Latin, < Latin adamant-, stem of adamās ‘a very hard metal’ + -ium suffix used to form the names of metallic elements]

Wikipedia

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Comics

  • 1912 Mechanical Engineer 25 Oct. 520/2 page image

    The former syndicate exhibit two of their specialities in the shape of Adamantium bronze—a high-class non-corrosive, anti-friction metal for bearings, gears, propellers, [etc.].

  • 1941 M. Jameson Devil’s Powder in Astounding Science-Fiction June 73/1 page image Malcolm Jameson bibliography

    It was a bullet. It was a small slug of adamantium, the toughest and hardest of all metals, crammed to capacity with the terrific explosive feroxite and would burst instantly on any reasonably heavy impact.

  • [1956 C. Hume Forbidden Planet (transcription of film)

    In the 2,000 centuries since that unexplained catastrophe, even their cloud-piercing towers of glass and porcelain and adamantine steel have crumbled back into the soil of Altair-4 and nothing, absolutely nothing, remains above ground.]

  • 1969 R. Thomas Mighty Avengers (#66) July 6

    [‘]Yeeeoww! I almost broke my blasted hand![’]… [‘]Now what thinkest thou of the metal called adamantium![’] [‘I wish I’d had some arrows made of it, back when I was Hawkeye![’]

  • 1985 J. Rovin Encyclopedia of Superheroes 336/1 page image Jeff Rovin bibliography

    Most remarkably, he [sc. Wolverine] possesses a skeleton reinforced with adamantium as well as six-foot-long adamantium claws strong enough to cut down a very large tree in a single swipe.

  • 1991 M. Stine Marvel Super Heroes Guide Book 12 page image Megan Stine

    One of them is Adamantium, the same artificial metal that has been applied to Wolverine’s skeleton.

  • 2005 P. Di Filippo Mysterious Iowans in Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures 348 page image Paul Di Filippo bibliography

    The capsule disgorged a wallet-sized, flexible sheet of adamantium inscribed using a diamond stylus with the particulars of Wheats tone's employment and the terms of his liberty in Lincolnopolis.

  • 2012 S. Baxter & T. Pratchett Long Earth xlviii. 321 page image Stephen Baxter Terry Pratchett bibliography

    The ultimate ‘black box’, you might say, is in the belly of the ship, armoured in an alloy that I confidently believe makes adamantium look like putty and will, I am sure, remain totally unscathed even in the event of a meteor strike of mass-extinction proportions.


Research History
Suggested by Malcolm Farmer.

Last modified 2023-08-29 14:03:32
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.