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[zur-kon] /ˈzɜr kɒn/
a common mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO 4 , occurring in small tetragonal crystals or grains of various colors, usually opaque: used as a refractory when opaque and as a gem when transparent.
Origin of zircon
1785-95; < German Zirkon; see jargon2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for zircon
Historical Examples
  • zircon, engrossed in a theoretical problem, scarcely noticed.

  • The truly refined people are those who have got three garnets and one zircon.

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • I'll tell zircon this when he comes, but you can be thinking it over in the meantime.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • Nothing remained but to wait for zircon and make definite plans.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • If anyone asks, I can say I want movies of the animals you and zircon shoot.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • "The Chinese are without a doubt the most polite of all the Eastern peoples," zircon said.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • zircon handed some money to the coolies and ordered them to wait.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • "He's probably gone to find a blowtorch to shave with," zircon rumbled.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • He sipped on his third coke and leaned over toward Scotty and zircon.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • zircon picked up the note, glanced through it, and handed it to Scotty.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
British Dictionary definitions for zircon


a reddish-brown, grey, green, blue, or colourless hard mineral consisting of zirconium silicate in tetragonal crystalline form with hafnium and some rare earths as impurities. It occurs principally in igneous rocks and is an important source of zirconium, zirconia, and hafnia: it is used as a gemstone and a refractory. Formula: ZrSiO4
Word Origin
C18: from German Zirkon, from French jargon, via Italian and Arabic, from Persian zargūn golden
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 zircon

1794, new name given in chemistry to jacinth, from German Zirkon (cf. French jargon, Italian giargone), from Arabic zarqun "cinnabar, bright red," from Persian zargun "gold-colored," from Avestan zari- "gold-colored," from zar "gold."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zircon in Science
A brown, reddish to bluish, gray, green, or colorless tetragonal mineral that occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and especially in sand. The colorless varieties are valued as gems. Chemical formula: ZrSiO4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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