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Definition of ZEOLITE
: any of various hydrous silicates that are analogous in composition to the feldspars, occur as secondary minerals in cavities of lavas, and can act as ion-exchangers; also: any of various natural or synthesized silicates of similar structure used especially in water softening and as adsorbents and catalysts
Swedish zeolit, from Greek zein to boil + -o- + Swedish -lit -lite, from French -lite — more at yeast
First Known Use: circa 1777
Medical Definition of ZEOLITE
: any of various hydrous silicates that can act as ion exchangers; also: any of various natural or synthesized silicates of similar structure used in water softening and as adsorbents
Any member of a family of hydrated aluminosilicate minerals that have a framework structure enclosing interconnected cavities occupied by large metal cations (positively charged ions)generally sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and bariumand water molecules. The ease of movement of ions and water within the framework allows reversible dehydration and cation exchange, properties that are exploited in water softeners and molecular sieves for pollution control, among other uses.