min·​er·​al·​o·​gy ˌmi-nə-ˈrä-lə-jē How to pronounce mineralogy (audio) -ˈra- How to pronounce mineralogy (audio)
: a science dealing with minerals, their crystallography, properties, classification, and the ways of distinguishing them
: the mineralogical characteristics of an area, a rock, or a rock formation
mineralogical adjective
or less commonly mineralogic
mineralogically adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Originally developed for mineralogy, polarized light microscopy is used to inspect liquid crystals and polymers. Discover Magazine, 23 Feb. 2018 In 1883, an agate specimen measuring 15 centimeters from central India was registered in a mineralogy collection at the Natural History Museum in London. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2023 In traditional mineralogy, experts define minerals as solid substances with a distinctive chemical composition and a crystalline atomic arrangement. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 1 July 2022 Whether the rocks are volcanic or sedimentary, after Perseverance performs the abrasion procedure, the team will direct the rover to drill and collect a core sample of the pavers, targeting a rock that is average in chemistry, mineralogy, and texture. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 21 July 2021 Looking at the mineralogy of the rocks and soils near Mons Rümker could help reveal why the region has an unusual and unexplained concentration of certain elements—potassium, rare earth elements, and phosphorus—and a strong radioactive anomaly driven by the elements thorium and uranium. Andrew Jones, Science, 23 Nov. 2020 Beribboned stripes in golden-yellow, purple, lavender, maroon, fuchsia and turquoise fold over its spine: stratigraphic layers influenced by myriad mineralogy. Laura Manske, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 The more detailed analysis of mineralogy and rock precipitation history would be done back in the lab over the coming months and years. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 8 Feb. 2016 Among inner solar system bodies, Ceres’ has a unique mineralogy, which appears to contain up to 20 percent carbon by mass in its near surface. Chelsea Gohd, Discover Magazine, 11 Dec. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mineralogy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from New Latin *mineralogia, irregular from Medieval Latin minerale + Latin -logia -logy

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mineralogy was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near mineralogy

Cite this Entry

“Mineralogy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mineralogy. Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


min·​er·​al·​o·​gy ˌmin-ə-ˈräl-ə-jē How to pronounce mineralogy (audio) -ˈral- How to pronounce mineralogy (audio)
: a science dealing with the characteristics and classification of minerals
mineralogical adjective
mineralogically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mineralogy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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