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Related to steel: mild steel, steel plant

have a mind as sharp as a steel trap

Fig. to be very intelligent. She's a smart kid. Has a mind as sharp as a steel trap. They say the professor has a mind as sharp as a steel trap, but then why can't he figure out which bus to take in the morning?
See also: have, mind, sharp, steel, trap

nerves of steel

Fig. very steady nerves; great patience and courage. I was scared to death, but Fred, who has nerves of steel, faced the thugs bravely.
See also: nerve, of, steel

steel oneself for someone or something

to prepare oneself for someone or something difficult or unpleasant; to get ready to face someone or something. Aunt Helen is coming for a visit. We should steel ourselves for her. I think something is going wrong. We had better steel ourselves for a shock.
See also: steel

steel someone against someone or something

to fortify someone against someone or something; to prepare someone to endure someone or something. I tried to steel Liz against Carl, who was bringing her some very bad news. We steeled her against the bad news.
See also: steel

*true as steel

very loyal and dependable. (*Also: as ~.) Through all my troubles, my husband has been as true as steel. Pedro was a staunch friend, true as steel.
See also: steel, true

have a mind like a steel trap

to be able to think very quickly, clearly and intelligently She'll be a brilliant lawyer - she has a mind like a steel trap.
See also: have, like, mind, steel, trap

nerves of steel

if someone has nerves of steel, they are very brave You'd have to have nerves of steel to play in front of a crowd this size.
See live on nerves
See also: nerve, of, steel

mind like a steel trap, have a

Be very quick to understand something, as in Aunt Ida may be old, but she still has a mind like a steel trap. This simile likens the snapping shut of an animal trap to a quick mental grasp.
See also: have, like, mind, steel

steel one's heart against

Also, harden one's heart. Suppress one's feelings for, as in He finally steeled his heart against them and refused the loan, or You'll just have to harden your heart and tell them the truth. This metaphoric idiom transfers making something hard to rendering oneself insensible or unfeeling. Versions of it date from the late 1500s. Also see heart of stone.
See also: heart, steel
References in classic literature ?
Simone disarms Guido] My gentle Lord, you see that I was right My sword is better tempered, finer steel, But let us match our daggers.
Nay," interrupted the Friar, "I bid thee speak not so scurrilously neither, lest thou mayst perchance feel the prick of an inch or so of blue steel.
A little after, and there came a clash of steel upon the deck, by which I knew they were dealing out the cutlasses and one had been let fall; and after that, silence again.
The thought of the sharp swords and the cold steel was strong in me; and presently, when I began to hear stealthy steps and a brushing of men's clothes against the round-house wall, and knew they were taking their places in the dark, I could have found it in my mind to cry out aloud.
Gleams, like pale long flames, trembled upon the polish of metal; from the flooring below the enormous crank-heads emerged in their turns with a flash of brass and steel -- going over; while the connecting-rods, big-jointed, like skeleton limbs, seemed to thrust them down and pull them up again with an irresistible precision.
The wood-encased bulk of the low-pressure cylinder, frowning portly from above, emitted a faint wheeze at every thrust, and except for that low hiss the engines worked their steel limbs headlong or slow with a silent, determined smoothness.
Girt to his side was the steel hilt of an old sword without blade or scabbard; and some particoloured ends of ribands and poor glass toys completed the ornamental portion of his attire.
The industry will be faced with important constraints and challenges over the next decade including a rising and volatile steel price, shortages of inputs, overcapacity, growing protectionism, inflation in China, and economic stagnation in advanced economies.
which is looking for performance and improved NVH for its vehicles, is using engines fitted with forged steel crankshafts under the hoods of its latest vehicles, the Lucerne and the LaCrosse.
As the production of steel advanced in the mid-1800's, solid hot rolled steel window frames soon became available in Europe and North America.
It has become a global giant mainly through foreign acquisitions, beginning with the 1980 purchase of Uruguayan steel maker Laisa.
Steel tariffs would help steel producers in the United States, but they would hurt everyone else.
Detailed within are examples of what steel metalcasters and their customers need to know to be able to produce castings for building construction applications.