enamel

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e·nam·el / iˈnaməl/ • n. an opaque or semitransparent glossy substance applied to metallic or other hard surfaces for ornament or as a protective coating. ∎  a work of art executed in such a substance. ∎  the hard glossy substance that covers the crown of a tooth. ∎  (also enamel paint) a paint that dries to give a smooth, hard coat. • v. (-eled , -el·ing ; Brit. -elled, -el·ling) [tr.] [often as adj.] (enameled) coat or decorate (a metallic or hard object) with enamel: an enameled roasting pan. DERIVATIVES: e·nam·el·er n. e·nam·el·ist / -ist/ n.

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enamel, a siliceous substance fusible upon metal. It may be so compounded as to be transparent or opaque and with or without color, but it is usually employed to add decorative color. It was used to decorate jewelry in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Specimens of enamel-work found in Belgium and England date from as early as the 3d or 2d cent. BC Perfected in the Byzantine world, enamel, often in the cloisonné technique, was used to adorn screens and tabernacles. In the 12th cent. the Spanish excelled in the champlevé technique. In France at that time brilliant coloristic effects were achieved in the Meuse valley. Concurrently, Limoges became a long-time center of superb enamelwork production. From Limoges in the 16th cent. emerged the most famous artist to work in enamel, Léonard Limousin. In England, from the 17th cent. on, enamel provided the surface for miniature portraits. It was also used for the florid decoration of vanity cases and snuffboxes. In the 19th cent. there was a decline in craftsmanship and a general loss of interest in the enamel medium. The mid-1960s produced an extensive craft revival and reborn interest in enamel techniques.

See T. and B. Hughes, English Painted Enamels (1967); S. Benjamin, Enamels (1983); G. L. Matthews, Enamels, Enameling, Enamelists (1984).

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enamel The material that forms a covering over the crown of a tooth (i.e. the part that projects above the gum). Enamel is smooth, white, and extremely hard, being rich in minerals containing calcium, especially apatite. It is produced by certain cells (ameloblasts) of the oral epithelium and protects the underlying dentine of the tooth. Enamel may also be found in the placoid scales of certain fish, which demonstrates the common developmental origin of scales and teeth.

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enamel •sewellel •camel, enamel, entrammel, mammal, trammel •miasmal, phantasmal •Carmel •abysmal, baptismal, catechismal, dismal, paroxysmal •animal • minimal • lachrymal •maximal •decimal, infinitesimal •septimal • optimal • primal • Rommel •abnormal, conformal, formal, normal, paranormal, subnormal •chromosomal • Kümmel •Brummell, pommel, pummel •epidermal, geothermal, isothermal, pachydermal, taxidermal, thermal

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enamel Crystals of a calcium phosphate-carbonate salt, containing 2–4% of organic matter, which are formed from the epithelium of the mouth and which provide a hard outer coating to denticles and to the exposed part of teeth.

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enamel glass-like composition laid on a surface. XV. f. enamel vb. XIV. — AN. enameler, enamailler, f. EN-1 + amail = OF. esmail (mod. émail), new formation on the nom. esmauz — Gmc. *smalt- (OHG. smalz, G. schmalz melted fat), rel. to SMELT2.

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enamel Crystals of a calcium phosphate-carbonate salt, containing 2–4% of organic matter, which are formed from the epithelium of the mouth and provide a hard outer coating to denticles and the exposed part of teeth.

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enamel Decorative or protective glazed coating produced on metal surfaces, or a type of paint. Ceramic enamels are made from powdered glass and calx, with metal oxides to add colour. Enamel paints consist of zinc oxide, lithopone, and high-grade varnish. The finish is hard, glossy, and highly durable.

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enamel (i-nam-ĕl) n. the extremely hard outer covering of the crown of a tooth, which consists of crystalline hydroxyapatite.