• synonyms


noun Mineralogy.
  1. a massive variety of uraninite, occurring in black pitchlike masses: a major ore of uranium and radium.
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Origin of pitchblende

1760–70; half translation, half adoption of German Pechblende. See pitch2, blende
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pitchblende

Historical Examples of pitchblende

  • It occurs in the pitchblende of Saxony, and the uranite of Cornwall.

    Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II

    Arnold Cooley

  • Pitchblende also occurs, and is mined for the extraction of radium.

  • Suppose a bearer of the Medal of Honor formed a stock corporation to exploit the pitchblende of Callisto.

    Medal of Honor

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • The project at hand is to extract the newly discovered deposits of pitchblende on these satellites of Jupiter.

    Medal of Honor

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • M. Debierne has obtained a third radioactive substance from pitchblende, which he has called “Actinium.”

    Alchemy: Ancient and Modern

    H. Stanley Redgrove

British Dictionary definitions for pitchblende


  1. a blackish mineral that is a type of uraninite and occurs in veins, frequently associated with silver: the principal source of uranium and radium. Formula: UO 2
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Word Origin for pitchblende

C18: partial translation of German Pechblende, from Pech pitch ² (from its black colour) + blende
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 pitchblende


also pitch-blende, 1770, a loan-translation of German Pechblende; see pitch (n.2) + blende.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pitchblende in Science


  1. A brown to black, often crusty, cubic mineral that is a principal ore of uranium. It is highly radioactive. Chemical formula: UO2.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.