A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Standard sizes are determined by various wire gauges. The term wire is also used more loosely to refer to a bundle of such strands, as in ‘multistranded wire’, which is more correctly termed a wire rope in mechanics, or a cable in electricity.
Although usually circular in cross-section, wire can be made in square or flattened rectangular cross-section, either for decorative purposes, or for technical purposes such as high-efficiency voice coils in loudspeakers. Edge-wound coil springs, such as the “Slinky” toy, are made of special flattened wire.
In antiquity, jewelry often contains, in the form of chains and applied decoration, large amounts of wire that is accurately made and which must have been produced by some efficient, if not…