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 fact, the Nazi bomb project was probably doomed early on, when German chemist Walther Bothe, distracted by a crisis in his love life, mistakenly concluded that heavy water would be a more suitable moderator than graphite in a nuclear reactor. Gregg Herken, Washington Post, "The unlikely operatives who helped thwart Hitler’s nuclear bomb," 6 Sep. 2019 Basic Lithium-ion batteries rely on graphite to store lithium when charged, but silicon has long been known to have significantly greater capacity for lithium storage and can be implemented in the same factories that today make Basic Lithium-ion. Gene Berdichevsky For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The electric car revolution will require us to build better batteries," 14 Aug. 2019 But Hardtmuth was looking for a way to advertise the caliber of its graphite rather than its wood. Constance Grady, Vox, "Buzz Aldrin carried a tiny book with him to the moon," 20 July 2019 Chernobyl's boron rods were tipped with graphite which triggered the dangerous reaction that caused the explosion. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Chernobyl' recap: Final, horrifying episode features the radioactive political fallout," 26 Apr. 2018 Tempera, acrylic, ink, chalk and graphite are sometimes densely applied, sometimes softly layered, often mixed together in dramatic and luminous ways. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Jay DeFeo show offers a provocative sketch of a California artist finding her voice," 17 Aug. 2019 Atlas’ artwork is an abstract acrylic and graphite composition of black and white, with a splash of yellow. Susan Dunne,, "When is a selfie art? When it shows the soul, like these portraits at City Gallery," 11 June 2019 The quiet operation owes to a host of engineering changes, including making the block -- which is essentially the engine's body -- out of a very stiff material called compacted graphite iron. Dallas News, "This round in Truck Wars goes to the 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 diesel," 23 Aug. 2019 The discovery has been the biggest surprise to hit the solid-state physics field since the 2004 Nobel Prize–winning discovery that an intact sheet of carbon atoms—graphene—could be lifted off a block of graphite with a piece of Scotch tape. David H. Freedman, WIRED, "Physicists Are Bewitched by Twisted Graphene's 'Magic Angle'," 5 May 2019

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

11 Oct 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

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