reg·​o·​lith | \ ˈre-gə-ˌlith How to pronounce regolith (audio) \

Definition of regolith

: unconsolidated residual or transported material that overlies the solid rock on the earth, moon, or a planet

Examples of regolith in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Urea is the second most common compound in urine after water and a team of researchers from Europe demonstrated earlier this year that urea could be mixed with moon dirt (known as regolith) and used as building materials. Amy Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA Just Sent a New $23 Million Space Toilet to the International Space Station," 9 Oct. 2020 As with the Moon, any plan to set up a habitable base on Mars must employ manufacturing technologies that make use of the Red Planet's regolith. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds," 22 Sep. 2020 But under the proposal announced Thursday, the companies would transfer ownership of the regolith to NASA. Washington Post, "NASA is looking for companies to help it mine the moon," 10 Sep. 2020 The rover was intended to visit the lunar poles, where loose regolith, steep slopes, and shadowed craters abound. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "This little NASA rover can conquer sand and steep hills," 18 May 2020 Instead of melting regolith, the system only needs to heat the material to 950 degrees Celsius. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Digging Up Regolith: Why Mining the Moon Seems More Possible Than Ever," 27 Apr. 2020 The Earthlings in charge of this enterprise are, to put it mildly, almost giddy at the thought of getting their hands on Martian regolith. G. Ryan Faith, Wired, "NASA’s Epic Gamble to Get Martian Dirt Back to Earth," 14 Feb. 2020 Sample return: The 2020 Rover will also collect and cache samples of soil deposits (also known as regolith) that will be retrieved during a later mission for a return to Earth. Fox News, "Carberry & Zucker: Are we going to Mars in 2020?," 4 Feb. 2020 The researchers say this is a way to capitalize on what the moon already has, which is tons of rock, regolith (smaller rock particulate), and fine, silky lunar soil. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Astronauts Could Mix Their Pee With Moon Dust to Build Lunar Bases," 1 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'regolith.' 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 regolith

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for regolith

Greek rhēgos blanket + English -lith; akin to Greek rhezein to dye — more at raga

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Time Traveler for regolith

Time Traveler

The first known use of regolith was in 1897

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Regolith.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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