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Mixture vs Admixture vs Blend vs Compound vs Composite vs Amalgam

Mixture, admixtureblendcompoundcompositeamalgam denote a product formed by the combination of two or more things.

Mixture is the most inclusive and most widely applicable term; it has, however, many specific applications; thus, a fabric made by interweaving yarns of different colors is a mixture; a pipe tobacco in which several varieties are combined to give a particular flavor or quality is a smoking mixture. The word often implies miscellaneousness.

Admixture adds to mixture the suggestion of the alien character of one or more of the constituent elements.

Blend, on the contrary, adds to mixture the implication of thorough mingling of usually similar or congruous elements or ingredients. Like admixture, it implies that the product is not pure or simple but, unlike it, it usually suggests harmony or complete integration.

Blend is applied in commerce to mixed whiskeys, teas, coffees, or tobaccos to indicate that a new product has been formed that combines the flavors of several varieties of the basic thing and that the products contain no other substance than such varieties.

Compound usually implies the union of two or more distinguishable or analyzable parts, elements, or ingredients. In its technical senses compound is definitely restricted in application. In chemistry a compound is a distinct substance formed by a union of two or more elements or radicals in definite proportions by weight.

As applied to words, a compound is a word or group of word elements which is formed of recognizable parts but has a distinct sense often not inferable from the meanings of its component parts. A compound may be written solid (as blackboard ), hyphenated (as long-distance ), or open (as all right )

Composite is often interchangeable with compound in its general sense, but there is a tendency to prefer composite when the constituent parts are artificially or fortuitously combined.

An amalgam is basically an alloy made by adding mercury to a metal; the term is particularly applicable to such alloys that are intended for use in dental restoration, usually contain several metals in addition to mercury, and set into a firm mass after a relatively brief period of time. In its extended use amalgam may draw on the notion of complexity of mixture or it may stress the hardening into final form.