[ min-er-uhl, min-ruhl ]
See synonyms for mineral on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of a class of substances occurring in nature, usually comprising inorganic substances, as quartz or feldspar, of definite chemical composition and usually of definite crystal structure, but sometimes also including rocks formed by these substances as well as certain natural products of organic origin, as asphalt or coal.

  2. a substance obtained by mining, as ore.

  1. (loosely) any substance that is neither animal nor vegetable.

  2. minerals, British. mineral water.

  3. Nutrition. any of the inorganic elements, as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, or sodium, that are essential to the functioning of the human body and are obtained from foods.

  1. of the nature of a mineral; pertaining to a mineral or minerals.

  2. containing or impregnated with a mineral or minerals.

  1. neither animal nor vegetable; inorganic: mineral matter.

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

Other words from mineral

  • non·min·er·al, noun, adjective
  • sem·i·min·er·al, adjective

Other definitions for mineral. (2 of 2)


  1. mineralogical.

  2. mineralogy.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for mineral (1 of 2)


/ (ˈmɪnərəl, ˈmɪnrəl) /

  1. any of a class of naturally occurring solid inorganic substances with a characteristic crystalline form and a homogeneous chemical composition

  2. any inorganic matter

  1. any substance obtained by mining, esp a metal ore

  2. (often plural) British short for mineral water

  3. British a soft drink containing carbonated water and flavourings: Usual US word: soda

  1. of, relating to, containing, or resembling minerals

Origin of mineral

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

British Dictionary definitions for mineral. (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. 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

Scientific definitions for mineral


[ mĭnər-əl ]

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Cultural definitions for mineral


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

Notes for mineral

Most minerals are crystals, like salt and diamonds.

Notes for mineral

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.