phy·​to·​lite | \ ˈfītəˌlīt \
variants: or phytolith \ -​ˌlith How to pronounce phytolite (audio) \
plural -s

Definition of phytolite

1 : a plant fossil
2 phytolith : a microscopic siliceous particle that forms in plant cells and is highly resistant to decomposition ancient plant species revealed by soil phytoliths

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First Known Use of phytolite

circa 1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phytolite

phyt- + -lite or -lith

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The first known use of phytolite was circa 1895

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Cite this Entry

“Phytolite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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