[ ap-uh-tahyt ]
/ ˈæp əˌtaɪt /


a common mineral, calcium fluorophosphate, Ca5FP3O12, occurring in individual crystals and in masses and varying in color, formerly used in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.

Origin of apatite

1795–1805; < Greek apát(ē) trickery, fraud, deceit + -ite1

Can be confused

apatite appetite
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apatite

British Dictionary definitions for apatite


/ (ˈæpəˌtaɪt) /


a pale green to purple mineral, found in igneous rocks and metamorphosed limestones. It is used in the manufacture of phosphorus, phosphates, and fertilizers. Composition: calcium fluorophosphate or calcium chlorophosphate. General formula: Ca 5 (PO 4,CO 3) 3 (F,OH,Cl). Crystal structure: hexagonal

Word Origin for apatite

C19: from German Apatit, from Greek apatē deceit; from its misleading similarity to other minerals
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

Science definitions for apatite


[ ăpə-tīt′ ]

Any of several usually green, transparent, hexagonal minerals consisting of calcium phosphate with either fluorine, hydroxyl, chlorine, or carbonate. Apatite occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and is used as a source of phosphate for making fertilizers. Chemical formula: Ca5(PO4CO3)3(F,OH,Cl).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.