[min-er-uh l, min-ruh l]



Origin of mineral

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French, Old French mineral < Medieval Latin minerāle (noun), minerālis (adj.), equivalent to miner(a) mine, ore (< Old French miniere < Vulgar Latin *mināria; min- (see mine2) + Latin -āria -ary) + -āle, -ālis -al1
Related formsnon·min·er·al, noun, adjectivesem·i·min·er·al, adjective


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

Examples from the Web for mineral

Contemporary Examples of mineral

Historical Examples of mineral

  • A mineral that gives off heat and stimulates the organ that a scientist is a fool with.

  • The tale of the resources of California—vegetable and mineral—is a fairy-tale.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The idea of anybody trying to hold our place for mineral land!

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The five lowest levels were underground and all were labelled "Mineral Industries."

  • He was eating little, and drank only mineral water from a stone bottle.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for mineral



any of a class of naturally occurring solid inorganic substances with a characteristic crystalline form and a homogeneous chemical composition
any inorganic matter
any substance obtained by mining, esp a metal ore
(often plural) British short for mineral water
British a soft drink containing carbonated water and flavouringsUsual US word: soda


of, relating to, containing, or resembling minerals

Word Origin for mineral

C15: from Medieval Latin minerāle (n), from minerālis (adj); related to minera mine, ore, of uncertain origin


abbreviation for

mineralogy or mineralogical
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 mineral

late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "mine." Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is first recorded c.1600. Modern scientific sense is from 1813.


early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis (see mineral (n.)). Mineral water (early 15c.) originally was water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mineral in Medicine




A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness.
An inorganic element, such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, or zinc, that is essential to the nutrition of humans, animals, and plants.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mineral in Science



A naturally occurring, solid, inorganic element or compound having a uniform composition and a regularly repeating internal structure. Minerals typically have a characteristic hardness and color, or range of colors, by which they can be recognized. Rocks are made up of minerals.
A natural substance of commercial value, such as iron ore, coal, or petroleum, that is obtained by mining, quarrying, or drilling.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mineral in Culture


In geology, a naturally occurring inorganic substance (see inorganic molecules) with a definite chemical composition and a regular internal structure.


Most minerals are crystals, like salt and diamonds.


Rocks are aggregates of minerals.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.