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[pich-blend] /ˈpɪtʃˌblɛnd/
noun, Mineralogy.
a massive variety of uraninite, occurring in black pitchlike masses: a major ore of uranium and radium.
Origin of pitchblende
1760-70; half translation, half adoption of German Pechblende. See pitch2, blende Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pitchblende
Historical Examples
  • It occurs in the pitchblende of Saxony, and the uranite of Cornwall.

  • pitchblende also occurs, and is mined for the extraction of radium.

  • Suppose a bearer of the Medal of Honor formed a stock corporation to exploit the pitchblende of Callisto.

    Medal of Honor Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • The project at hand is to extract the newly discovered deposits of pitchblende on these satellites of Jupiter.

    Medal of Honor Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • M. Debierne has obtained a third radioactive substance from pitchblende, which he has called “Actinium.”

    Alchemy: Ancient and Modern H. Stanley Redgrove
  • It would take a deposit of pitchblende richer than anything I've ever heard of to penetrate the lead.

    The Space Pioneers Carey Rockwell
  • Uranium occurs chiefly as pitchblende, which is an impure oxide (U3O8).

    A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines.

    Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer
  • From the other camp Johnny Thompson went in search of pitchblende, only to return empty-handed.

    Riddle of the Storm Roy J. Snell
  • With his dog team on his second journey in search of pitchblende he had traveled fifty miles, and the day was still young.

    Riddle of the Storm Roy J. Snell
  • More illusive than gold and many times more precious, radium, the product of pitchblende, had somehow gotten into his blood.

    Riddle of the Storm Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for pitchblende


a blackish mineral that is a type of uraninite and occurs in veins, frequently associated with silver: the principal source of uranium and radium. Formula: UO2
Word Origin
C18: partial translation of German Pechblende, from Pechpitch² (from its black colour) + blende
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pitchblende

also pitch-blende, 1770, a loan-translation of German Pechblende; see pitch (n.2) + blende.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pitchblende in Science
A brown to black, often crusty, cubic mineral that is a principal ore of uranium. It is highly radioactive. Chemical formula: UO2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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