Metallic Compounds Definition

Lead(II) oxide or PbO is an example of a metallic compound.
Lead(II) oxide or PbO is an example of a metallic compound. Cultura Exclusive/GIPhotoStock / Getty Images

A metallic compound is a compound that contains one or more metal elements bonded to another element. Typically, the metal atom acts as the cation in the compound and is bonded to a nonmetallic anion or an ionic group. Because it has a positive charge, the metal element symbol is listed first in the chemical formula.

Sometimes metal complexes are also considered to be metallic compounds.

When metals bond to other metals, they form an alloy. An alloy is not considered to be a metallic compound because the ratio of elements is not fixed like it is in a compound.

Metallic Compound Examples

  • AgNO3 - Silver nitrate is a metallic compound. Silver (Ag) is the metal, bonded to the nitrate group.
  • CaCl2 - Calcium chloride is a metallic compound.
  • H2O (water) is not considered a metallic compound. Even though hydrogen sometimes acts like a metal, it is more often considered a nonmetal.