graph·​ite | \ ˈgra-ˌfīt How to pronounce graphite (audio) \

Definition of graphite

1 : a soft black lustrous form of carbon that conducts electricity and is used in lead pencils and electrolytic anodes, as a lubricant, and as a moderator in nuclear reactors
2 : a composite material in which carbon fibers are the reinforcing material

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Other Words from graphite

graphitic \ gra-​ˈfi-​tik How to pronounce graphitic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of graphite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the next step, the carbon ashes are converted into graphite, a stable allotrope of carbon in which the atoms are packed into tight, flat sheets. Glenn Mcdonald, National Geographic, "From diamonds to rockets, mourning the dead has gotten high-tech," 17 June 2019 In the final episode, Legasov, testifying as a witness, tells a Soviet court that the disaster happened because the tips of the control rods were made of graphite, which sped up the reaction, when the control rod was supposed to slow it down. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "What HBO’s “Chernobyl” Got Right, and What It Got Terribly Wrong," 4 June 2019 The reactor is basically a huge block of graphite in which uranium pellets were inserted, instigating a nuclear chain reaction that produced plutonium. William M. Gurstelle, Twin Cities, "Good ol’ Rocky Top: Visit the history, music, science of northeast Tennessee," 15 June 2019 Then, still underneath Fermilab’s grounds, the protons will ram into a block of graphite, producing a shower of particles. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "Why Fermilab is Making A Neutrino Detector 800 Miles Long," 12 Mar. 2019 The paintings seem to begin with an allover field of semiautomatic drawing: fast and furious squiggles, loops and grids, rendered in graphite and charcoal and annotated with watery color. Roberta Smith, Martha Schwendener, Jason Farago And Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 7 Feb. 2018 Next year, a company called Sila Nanotechnologies is rolling out its new silicon anode batteries, which replace the graphite in today’s batteries with precisely engineered (and tiny) silicon particles. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Your Gadgets' Battery Life Could Be About to Get Much Better," 19 Oct. 2018 The book’s superb print quality on heavy bond helps highlight the many great details to be savored, especially in the watercolor animation backgrounds, graphite sketches, antique toys and vintage photos. John Canemaker, WSJ, "Book Review: Building a Better Mouse," 18 Jan. 2019 But for all their graphomania—hair-thin graphite on paper, or purple ink scribbled in journals—neither seemed to think much of it in life. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Gray Foy, a Master Precisionist Who Presided Over Legendary Salons, Gets a Turn in the Spotlight," 16 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graphite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of graphite

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for graphite

German Graphit, from Greek graphein to write

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Statistics for graphite

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graphite

The first known use of graphite was in 1796

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More Definitions for graphite



English Language Learners Definition of graphite

: a shiny black substance that is used in pencils


graph·​ite | \ ˈgra-ˌfīt How to pronounce graphite (audio) \

Kids Definition of graphite

: a soft black carbon used in making lead pencils and as a lubricant


graph·​ite | \ ˈgraf-ˌīt How to pronounce graphite (audio) \

Medical Definition of graphite

: carbon of a soft black lustrous form that conducts electricity and is used in lead pencils and electrolytic anodes, as a lubricant, and as a moderator in nuclear reactors

called also plumbago

Other Words from graphite

graphitic \ gra-​ˈfit-​ik How to pronounce graphitic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on graphite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with graphite

Spanish Central: Translation of graphite

Nglish: Translation of graphite for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about graphite

Comments on graphite

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to form ideas or theories about something

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