ol·​iv·​ine ˈä-lə-ˌvēn How to pronounce olivine (audio)
: a usually greenish mineral that is a complex silicate of magnesium and iron used especially in refractories compare peridot
olivinic adjective
or olivinitic

Examples of olivine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because different minerals crystallize at different temperatures (yes, molten rock has a freezing point), minerals like olivine that crystallize early can settle to the bottom of a magma body and accumulate. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 18 Sep. 2023 When that happens, a mineral called olivine that dominates the peridotite readily reacts with water molecules, sparking a series of chemical steps called serpentinization. Quanta Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 These rocks are often heavy in minerals like olivine and pyroxene. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 In laboratories at Woods Hole and the California Institute of Technology, the researchers analyzed a mineral called olivine in the samples that contained microscopic pockets of helium gas. Tom Metcalfe, Scientific American, 2 Dec. 2023 Peridot is a yellow-green gemstone that comes from the mineral olivine. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 24 July 2023 The cores are largely made of peridotite, an igneous rock made of the minerals pyroxene and olivine, that is the most common type of rock in the upper mantle, per the Washington Post. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 June 2023 Analysis of it reveals that Martian dirt is similar to volcanic soil from Hawaii, containing crystalline feldspar, pyroxene and olivine. Ashley P. Taylor, Discover Magazine, 31 Oct. 2012 Scientists theorize that the hydrogen created by reactions between olivine and seawater could have helped form organic molecules. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 June 2023

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

Word History


German Olivin, from Latin oliva

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of olivine was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near olivine

Cite this Entry

“Olivine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/olivine. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ol·​iv·​ine ˈäl-ə-ˌvēn How to pronounce olivine (audio)
: a usually greenish mineral that is a silicate of magnesium and iron

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