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  1. a common, heavy mineral, lead sulfide, PbS, occurring in lead-gray crystals, usually cubes, and cleavable masses: the principal ore of lead.

Origin of galena

1595–1605; < Latin: lead ore
Also called ga·le·nite [guh-lee-nahyt] /gəˈli naɪt/. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for galena

lead, galena, pewter, plumbic, plumbiferous, plumbous

Examples from the Web for galena

Historical Examples of galena

British Dictionary definitions for galena


galenite (ɡəˈliːnaɪt)

  1. a grey mineral, found in hydrothermal veins. It is the chief source of lead. Composition: lead sulphide. Formula: PbS. Crystal structure: cubic

Word Origin for galena

C17: from Latin: lead ore, dross left after melting lead
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 galena

lead ore, lead sulphide, c.1600, from Latin galena "mix of silver and lead; dross from smelting lead," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

galena in Science


  1. A gray, metallic mineral occurring in cube-shaped crystals within veins of igneous rock or in sedimentary rocks. It is the main ore of lead. Chemical formula: PbS.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.