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Source: The Oxford English Dictionary, V XII V-Z and Bibliography, 1970 Reprint.

Weld, sb.2 [f. Weld v.]

1. A joining or joint made by welding.

1831 J. HOLLAND Manuf. Metal I. 96 Should the bars of iron not be .. long enough, they are to be welded, and the welds separated.

1862 Fraser's Mag. Nov. 634 Tires for locomotive engines are also exhibited, made without a weld.

1880 Encycl. Brit. XI. 279/2 Each barrel has a weld running down its whole length.

1892 Profess. Papers Corps R. Engineers 10 It was desirable, with such a weld, that the two surfaces should not be at an angle and this form of weld was called a 'butt' weld.

2. The act, process, or result of welding; the state or fact of being welded.

1862 Times 12 Aug. 9/4 Where soundness of weld might have been expected, .. thin layers of interposed 'cinder' have .. prevented perfect union between contiguous laminæ iron.

1884 LOCK Workshop Rec. Ser. III. 68/I Copper phosphide would be formed, which would .. effectually prevent a weld.

1884 W. H. GREENWOOD Steel & Iron i. 7 Under these conditions but moderate pressure is required to ensure a perfect weld.

3. Comb.: weld-iron, wrought iron; weld-steel, puddled steel.

These terms have not been generally adopted.

1881 RAYMOND Mining Gloss., Weld-iron. Weld-steel.

1884 LOCK Workshop Rec. Ser. III. 266/I Steel which will harden from any cause .. is termed weld-steel.

WELD, v. [Alteration of WELL v., prob. under the influence of the pa. pple.]

1. intr. To undergo junction by welding; to admit of being welded. Also fig.

1599 JAS. I Basil. Doron III 153 Mixinge through .. dailie conuersation, the men of euery kingdome with an other, as may with time make them grow and weld all in one.

1677 MOXON Mech. Exerc. i. 10 They say it makes the Iron weld, or incorporate the better.

1724 RAMSAY Song, Widow 21 Strike iron while 'tis hey, if ye'd have it to wald.

1884 W. H. GREENWOOD Steel & Iron x. 204 When heated to whiteness .. the particles cohere or weld together perfectly.

2. trans. To soften by heat and join together (pieces of metal, esp. iron, or iron and steel) in a solid mass, by hammering or by pressure; to forge (an article) by this method.

1677 MOXON Mech. Exerc. i. 9 And so weld, or work in the doubling into one another, and make it become one entire lump.

1680 ALSOP Mischief Imposit., vii. 51 A Cutler's boy ... was making a knife, and unluckily the steel fell off when he had welded it.

1823 P. NICHOLSON Pract. Build. 341 They are usually made of iron and steel welded together.

1832 BABBAGE Econ. Manuf. xxx. (ed. 3) 299 In this difficulty, the contractors resorted to a mode of welding the gunbarrel.

1848 LYTTON Harold I.i, I heard the smith welding arms on the anvil.

1880 Encycl. Brit. XI. 284 The bayonet consistes of a steel blade welded to a wrought-iron socket.

b. fig. and transf. To unite intimately or inseparably; to join closely together.

(a) 1839 BAILEY Festus 243 Let us love, and die. And weld our souls together, night!

1860 GEO. ELIOT Mill on Fl. II. vi, If boys and men are to be welded together in the glow of transient feeling, they must be made of metal that will mix.

1890 'R. BOLDREWOOD' Col. Reformer xi. Habits, inexorably welded into the being of the man.

(b) 1859 MURCHISON Siluria xi. (ed. 3) 301 The lower part of being welded on the Upper Silurian by thin fissle strata.

1860 TYNDALL Glac. I. XX. 139 All glaciers .. are welded together to become a common trunk.

1899 Allbutt's Syst. Med. VIII. 690 A hypertrophic condition of the horny layers of the epidermis -- the cells becoming condensed or 'welded' together.

Weldability The quality or property of being weldable.

1884 W. H. GREENWOOD Steel & Iron i. 8 The above-mentioned elements harden malleable iron, and probably affect its weldability.

1884 LOCK Workshop Rec. Ser. III 300/2 Its weldability depends upon the viscosity it [sc. glass] assumes at a bright-red heat.

Weldable, a. Capable of being welded.

1864 Reader 9 Apr. 449/1 We have various kinds of steel, which are highly elastic, malleable, ductile, forgeable, weldable.

1881 Metal World No. 24. 372 Pure malleable and weldable nickel.

1889 Nature 19 Sept. 510/2 Many metals not hitherto considered weldable, such as tool steel, copper, and aluminium are readily welded.

b. transf. Of plastic substances: Capable of being united in a solid mass.

1881 Knowledge 25 Nov. 67/1 Wax, pitch, resin, and all other solids that fuse, gradually cohere, are weldable ... when near their fusing point.

1884 LOCK Workshop Rec. Ser. III. 300/2 Outside of the metals there is a multitude of weldable substances. Glass is a typical example of these.

Welded, ppl. a.

1. United by welding.

1869 Scientific Opinion 10 Feb 270/1 The wire had been drawn from welded palladium.

1905 Westm. Gaz. 27 Jun 2/1 The immensely expensive welded-iron gun to which Sir W. Armstrong was wedded.

b. transf. and fig.

1837 SIR F. PALGRAVE Merch. & Friar. (1844) Ded. 4 The welded mass of haut ton, or a low ton.

1862 LYTTON Str.Story xxiii, The welded strength of its sinews was best best shown in the lightness and grace of its movements.

1878 BROWNING Poets Croisic lxxi, Welded lines with clinch Of ending word and word.

1898 Alibutt's Syst. Med. V. 1008 The firm, thick, fibrous, spetum of the welded valve-structures.

2. Welded joints, = welted joint

1882 W. J. CHRISTY Joints 197 This variety [of overlapping joint] thus compactly rolled together is otherwise termed a welded joint.


1. One who welds; spec., a smith employed exclusively in welding.

1828-32 WEBSTER.

1846 GREENER Sci. Gunnery 146 The spirals being thus formed, the welders commence their day's work.

1854 B'ham P. O. Directory 683/2 Of the gun trade are the following:.. gun barrel borers, filers, welders, ribbers

1918 Chamb. Jrnl. Aug 532/2 This was done by engaging every available machinery welder and patcher.

2. A welding machine.

1896 Cyclist 8 Jan. 25 A 40 kilowatt welder .. occupies the following floor space.


1. The action of the verb WELD; the process of joining with a weld.

1603 [see 2].

1691 T. H[ALE] Acc. New Invent. 14 Their Pintells .. never have had their due welding. ibid. 23 To give it its due welding or working.

1815 J. SMITH Panorama Sci. & Art I. II The fire for welding should be free from sulphur.

1854 J. SCOFFERN in Orr's Circ. Sci., Elem. Chem. 438 The kaligenous metals, potassium and sodium .. readly admit welding.

1881 J. EVENS Anc. Bronze Implm. 293 The term 'welding' is, however, inappropriate to a metal of the character of bronze.

b. Capacity for uniting under the operation of heat and pressure.

1825 J. NICHOLSON Oper. Mech. 784 Welding. The property of conjunction possessed by some metals at high temperature.

1826 HENRY Elem. Chem. I. 556 The property of welding, which belongs to platinum and iron at a high degree of heat only, is possessed by this substance [sodium] at common temperatures.

1868 ROSCOE Elem. Chem. 236 When hot, it [wrought iron] posses the peculiar property of 'welding'.

c. = welding heat (see 3).

1842 Rep. Brit. Assoc. 106 A piece of the same iron heated to welding, and left to cool, broke .. in one blow.

2. transf. and fig. The action of uniting, or the fact of being united, closely or indissoulubly.

1603 JAS. I Basil, Doron III. 149 The vniting and welding of them heerafter in one, by all sort of friendship, commerce, and alliance.

1857 I. TAYLOR World of Mind 669 These solderings of the social system .. but Love is a welding.

1874 SYMONDS Sk. Italy & Greece (1898) I. xi. 212 Nor was it in their welding of the bricks alone that these craftsmen showed their science.

1905 'G. THORNE' Lost Cause xii, The harmonic welding of the order and traditions of our Lord's Own time with the full vivid life of the twentieth century.

3. attrib. and Comb., as welding-machine, process, state, swage; welding heat, the degree of heat to which iron is brought for welding; welding point, degree of heat requisite for welding; also fig.; welding powder, a flux used in welding.

1710 J. HARRIS Lex. Techn. II, *Welding-Heat, is a Degree of Heat which Smiths give their Iron in the Forge, when there is occasion to double up the Iron, and to Weld .. the Doublings.

1776 Phil. Trans. LXVI. 510 I heated a piece of iron .. to a white heat, or what the smiths call a welding heat.

1884 LOCK Workshop Rec. Ser. III. 301/2 Cast-steel requires a low welding-heat.

1874 KNIGHT Dict. Mech., *Welding-machine, one for uniting the edges of plates previously bent, [etc.].

1868 JOYNSON Metals 69 Each quality of iron has a differnet *welding point.

1886 FROUDER Oceana. 16 The feeling .. may be a warm one, but not warm enough to heat us .. to the welding point.

1873 SPON Workshop Rec. Ser. I. 361/1 The steel to be welded .. is then dipped into the *welding powder, and again placed in the fire.

1907 E. WILSON & LYDALL Electr. Traction I. 95 The electric *welding process .. welds the rails together.

1846 GREENER Sci. Gunnery 108 The parts first fused are gathered on the end of a similiary fabricated rod, in a *welding state.

1874 KNIGHT Dict. Mech., *Welding-swage, a block or fullingtool for assisting the closure of a welded joint.

Weldless Made without a weld.

1865 Athenæum 30 Sept. 442/I Weldless tyres.

1869 F. KOHN Iron & Steel Manuf. 182 Weldless Tubes.

1894 Daily News 14 June 6/4 The Triumph Weldless chain, an American invention.


Source: An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, Litt.D., D.C.L., Ph.D., F.B.A., 1974 Impression.

WELD (1), to beat metal together. (Scand.) The final d is excrescent, like d after l in alder, a tree, elder, a tree, and Shakespeare's alder-liefest for aller-liefest, 2 Hen. VI, i, I. 28. It is only a particular use of the word well, verb, to spring up as a fountain, lit. to boil up. It meant (1) to boil, (2) to heat to a high degree, (3) to beat heated iron. We find this particular use in Wyclif, Isaiah, ii. 4; where the earlier version has 'thei shul bete togidere their swerdes into shares,' the later version has 'thei shulen welle togidere her swerdes in-to sharris.' See further under WELL (2). The word is apparently Scand., not E.; for (1) the Swed. välla (lit. to well) is only used in the sense 'to weld,' as in välla järn, to weld iron (Widegren); the sense 'to well' appearing in the comp. uppvälla, to boil up; (2) Sweden exports large quantities of iron and steel. Cf. Dan. vælde (with excrescent d), to well up; Pomeran. wellen, to weld iron; prov. E. well, to weld. In Icel. and Norw., a distinction is made between vella, intr., to well, pt. t. vall (str. vb.), and vella, tr., to cause to boil (wk. vb.); the Swed. vülla, to weld, answers to the latter. ¶ 'The process of welding iron is named, in many languages, from the word for boiling; ef. Illyrian variti, to boil, weld iron, Lettish wárit, to boil, sawárit, to weld," &c.; Wedgwood.



To Weld, v. a. To beat one mass into another, so as to incorporate them. Sparkling or welding heat is used when you double up your iron to make it thick enough, and so weld or work in the doublings into one another. Moxon.

Welder, n. a. [a term perhaps merely Irish; though it may be derived from To wield, to turn or manage: whence wielder, welder] Manager; actual occupier. Such immediate tenants have others under them, and so a third and fouth in subordination, till it comes to the welder, as they call him, who sits at a rack-rent, and lives miserably. Swift.

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