ver·​mic·​u·​lite | \ (ˌ)vər-ˈmi-kyə-ˌlīt How to pronounce vermiculite (audio) \

Definition of vermiculite

: any of various micaceous minerals that are hydrous silicates resulting usually from expansion of the granules of mica at high temperatures to give a lightweight highly water-absorbent material

Examples of vermiculite in a Sentence

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In a warm location (about 70 degrees), start your seeds in a seed tray with a very light soil mix or fine vermiculite that drains quickly. Therese Ciesinski, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Lavender Anywhere — Even Indoors," 9 Aug. 2018 Simply snip off a 4-inch stem with leaves on it and put it in a pot filled with a soilless medium, such as vermiculite. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 Concrete mixed with vermiculite or perlite, or concrete and fiberglass blends, are much lighter. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know About Container Gardening," 1 June 2017 In particular, vermiculite can contain low levels of asbestos; compost and peat moss can contain mold spores. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know About Container Gardening," 1 June 2017 About 14 weeks before your last frost date, sprinkle the seeds over a premoistened medium, then cover the seeds lightly with vermiculite. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "13 Annual Flowers You Can Easily Grow From Seeds," 2 June 2016 Seedlings were cut with vermiculite and cultivated in a small patch of the campus greenhouse. David Arky, Smithsonian, "How Do You Make Beer in Space?," 20 Mar. 2018 Montana reached a $43 million settlement in 2009 and a $25 million settlement last year with people injured by asbestos at a vermiculite mining operation in Libby, Mont. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "Berkshire Unit Ordered to Pay Millions for Asbestos-Related Settlement," 7 Mar. 2018 Scientists sort through a mineral called vermiculite, placed in cups inside the bottom of the tanks, to find the eggs. Cristela Guerra,, "Harvard University has an underground lizard colony," 28 Feb. 2018

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

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vermiculite

Latin vermiculus "insect larva, grub" (from vermis "worm" + -culus, diminutive suffix) + -ite entry 1 — more at worm entry 1; so called from the worm-like forms taken by such minerals when heated by a blowpipe

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The first known use of vermiculite was in 1824

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