noun \ˈmir-shəm, -ˌshm\

Definition of MEERSCHAUM

:  a fine light white clayey mineral that is a hydrous magnesium silicate found chiefly in Asia Minor and is used especially for tobacco pipes
:  a tobacco pipe of meerschaum


German, from Meer sea + Schaum foam
First Known Use: 1784

Other Mineralogy Terms

agate, host, inclusion, matrix, streak

Rhymes with MEERSCHAUM


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fibrous hydrated magnesium silicate that is opaque and white, gray, or cream in colour. Also called sepiolite, meerschaum (German: “sea foam”) is easily fashioned, and has been used in jewelry and for tobacco pipes. It is soft when first extracted, but it hardens on drying. Meerschaum is an alteration product of serpentine. The most important commercial deposit is the plain of Eskisehir, Tur., where it is found as irregular nodules in alluvial deposits; it also occurs in France, Greece, the Czech Republic, the U.S., and elsewhere.


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