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sphalerite

[sfal-uh-rahyt, sfey-luh-]
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noun
  1. a very common mineral, zinc sulfide, ZnS, usually containing some iron and a little cadmium, occurring in yellow, brown, or black crystals or cleavable masses with resinous luster: the principal ore of zinc and cadmium; blackjack.

Origin of sphalerite

1865–70; < Greek sphaler(ós) slippery, deceptive + -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sphalerite

Historical Examples

  • The most important mineral of zinc is the sulphide, sphalerite or "zinc blende."

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

    C. K. Leith

  • In the Missouri region, on the other hand, sphalerite and blende are the typical ores.

    The A B C of Mining

    Charles A. Bramble

  • Sphalerite is a fairly common and widespread mineral, occurring nearly always in veins in most kinds of rocks.

    Geology

    William J. Miller


British Dictionary definitions for sphalerite

sphalerite

noun
  1. a yellow to brownish-black mineral consisting of zinc sulphide in cubic crystalline form with varying amounts of iron, manganese, cadmium, gallium, and indium: the chief source of zinc. Formula: ZnSAlso called: zinc blende

Word Origin

C19: from Greek sphaleros deceitful, from sphallein to cause to stumble
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

sphalerite in Science

sphalerite

[sfălə-rīt′]
  1. A usually yellow-brown or brownish-black cubic mineral occurring either as single dodecahedral crystals or as granular masses. It often contains cadmium, arsenic, or manganese and has a distinct rotten egg odor. It is often found in association with the mineral galena and is the primary ore of zinc. Chemical formula: ZnS.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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