• synonyms


[sil-i-kit, -keyt]
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  1. Mineralogy. any of the largest group of mineral compounds, as quartz, beryl, garnet, feldspar, mica, and various kinds of clay, consisting of SiO2 or SiO4 groupings and one or more metallic ions, with some forms containing hydrogen. Silicates constitute well over 90 percent of the rock-forming minerals of the earth's crust.
  2. Chemistry. any salt derived from the silicic acids or from silica.
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Origin of silicate

First recorded in 1805–15; silic(a) + -ate2
Related formssil·i·ca·tion [sil-i-key-shuh n] /ˌsɪl ɪˈkeɪ ʃən/, nounnon·sil·i·cate, nounsub·sil·i·cate, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for silicates


  1. a salt or ester of silicic acid, esp one of a large number of usually insoluble salts with polymeric negative ions having a structure formed of tetrahedrons of SiO 4 groups linked in rings, chains, sheets, or three dimensional frameworks. Silicates constitute a large proportion of the earth's minerals and are present in cement and glass
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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 silicates



1811, from silica + -ate (3).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

silicates in Medicine


(sĭlĭ-kāt′, -kĭt)
  1. Any of numerous compounds containing silicon, oxygen, and one or more metals; a salt of silicic acid.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

silicates in Science


  1. Any of a large class of chemical compounds composed of silicon, oxygen, and at least one metal. Most rocks and minerals are silicates.
  2. Any mineral containing the group SiO4, either isolated, or joined to other groups in chains, sheets, or three-dimensional groups with metal elements. Micas and feldspars are silicate minerals.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

silicates in Culture


[(sil-uh-kuhts, sil-uh-kayts)]

The main minerals found in many rocks. Silicates are composed of atoms of silicon, oxygen, and elements such as potassium, sodium, or calcium, under great heat and pressure. Silicates make up about one-quarter of the crust of the Earth.

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Mica and quartz are silicates.
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.