• synonyms


[bair-ahyt, bar-]
  1. a common mineral, barium sulfate, BaSO4, occurring in white, yellow, or colorless tabular crystals: the principal ore of barium.
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Also barytes.

Origin of barite

First recorded in 1780–90; bar(ytes) + -ite1
Also called heavy spar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barite

Historical Examples of barite

  • The gangue is mainly fine-grained quartz or jasperoid, and barite.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

    C. K. Leith

  • Germany is the world's principal producer of barite and has large reserves of high grade.

  • Witherite, the barium carbonate, is a much rarer mineral but is found with barite in some veins.

  • The principal deposits of barite are found in sedimentary rocks, and especially in limestones and dolomites.

  • Thus calc spar is a common name for calcite, heavy spar for barite, needle spar for aragonite, and so on.

British Dictionary definitions for barite


  1. US and Canadian a colourless or white mineral consisting of barium sulphate in orthorhombic crystalline form, occurring in sedimentary rocks and with sulphide ores: a source of barium. Formula: BaSO 4Also called: barytes, heavy spar
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Word Origin for barite

C18: from bar (ium) + -ite 1
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

barite in Science


  1. A usually white, clear, or yellow orthorhombic mineral. Barite occurs as flattened blades or in a circular pattern of crystals that looks like a flower and, when colored red by iron stains, is called a desert rose. It is found in limestone, in clay-rich rocks, and in sandstones. Barite is used as a source of barium. Chemical formula: BaSO4.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.