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  1. a common mineral, iron sulfide, approximately FeS but variable because of a partial absence of ferrous ions, occurring in massive and in crystal forms with a bronze color and metallic luster; magnetic pyrites: generally slightly magnetic.

Origin of pyrrhotite

1868; < Greek pyrrhót(ēs) redness + -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pyrrhotite

Historical Examples

  • Pyrrhotite, or magnetic pyrites, is the source of about all the nickel of commerce.

    The A B C of Mining

    Charles A. Bramble

  • Marcasite and pyrrhotite, other iron sulphide minerals, are frequently found with pyrite and are used for the same purposes.

  • One of the best-known localities is Bodenmais, in Bavaria, where it occurs with pyrrhotite in a granite matrix.

  • The copper deposits are mainly in well-marked fracture planes in serpentine; the ore is pyrrhotite, with or without chalcopyrite.

  • The pyritic ores of iron, including marcasite, pyrrhotite and mispickel, are often taken for gold by the inexperienced.

    The A B C of Mining

    Charles A. Bramble

British Dictionary definitions for pyrrhotite


pyrrhotine (ˈpɪrəˌtiːn, -ˌtaɪn, -tɪn)

  1. a common bronze-coloured magnetic mineral consisting of ferrous sulphide in hexagonal crystalline form. Formula: FeS

Word Origin

C19: from Greek purrhotēs redness, from purrhos fiery, from pur fire
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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