sphalerite

noun
sphal·​er·​ite | \ ˈsfa-lə-ˌrīt How to pronounce sphalerite (audio) \

Definition of sphalerite

: a mineral composed essentially of zinc sulfide that is the most important ore of zinc

called also zinc blende

First Known Use of sphalerite

circa 1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sphalerite

German Sphalerit, from Greek sphaleros deceitful, from sphallein to cause to fall; from its often being mistaken for galena — more at spill entry 1

Learn More About sphalerite

Time Traveler for sphalerite

Time Traveler

The first known use of sphalerite was circa 1868

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sphalerite

sphagnum frog

sphalerite

Sphargis

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sphalerite

Cite this Entry

“Sphalerite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sphalerite. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on sphalerite

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sphalerite

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!