• synonyms


  1. one of the commonest minerals, calcium carbonate, CaCO3, found in a great variety of crystalline forms: a major constituent of limestone, marble, and chalk; calc-spar.
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Origin of calcite

First recorded in 1840–50; calc- + -ite1
Related formscal·cit·ic [kal-sit-ik] /kælˈsɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for calcite

Historical Examples

  • A dark compact rock, in which calcite and sericite predominate.

    The Long Labrador Trail

    Dillon Wallace

  • A vase of calcite, also dedicated by Entemena, has been found at Nippur.

  • Calcite , calcium carbonate, a rock that includes limestone and marble.


    Allen Chaffee

  • The density of the globules (2.58) is similar to that of ordinary varieties of calcite.

  • Cerium looks like iron, having both its color and lustre, but is heavier, and has the hardness of calcite.

British Dictionary definitions for calcite


  1. a colourless or white mineral (occasionally tinged with impurities), found in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, in veins, in limestone, and in stalagmites and stalactites. It is used in the manufacture of cement, plaster, paint, glass, and fertilizer. Composition: calcium carbonate. Formula: CaCO 3 . Crystal structure: hexagonal (rhombohedral)
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Derived Formscalcitic (kælˈsɪtɪk), adjective
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

Word Origin and History for calcite


crystalling calcium carbonate, 1849, from German Calcit, coined by Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Karl von Hardinger (1795-1871) from Latin calx (genitive calcis) "lime" (see chalk (n.)) + mineral suffix -ite (2) (German -it).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calcite in Science


  1. A usually white, clear, pale-yellow or blue orthorhombic mineral. Calcite occurs in many different forms and is the main component of chalk, limestone, and marble. It is a polymorph of aragonite. Chemical formula: CaCO3.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.