zir·​con | \ ˈzər-ˌkän How to pronounce zircon (audio) , -kən \

Definition of zircon

: a tetragonal mineral consisting of a silicate of zirconium and occurring usually in brown or grayish square prisms of adamantine luster or sometimes in transparent forms which are used as gems

Examples of zircon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As zircon forms in cooling magma, its crystal structure contains uranium but no lead. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, 4 Aug. 2020 An analysis of zircon crystals more than 4 billion years old from the Jack Hills in Western Australia provided an early test. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 22 Apr. 2020 In 2015, Tarduno and his colleagues reported finding signs of Earth’s magnetic field from more than 4 billion years ago, inside zircon crystals from Australia. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2019 Traditional paleomagnetic measurements using superconducting sensors had found faint fields preserved in the zircons, a clue that Earth had a magnetic field half a billion years earlier than expected. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 22 Apr. 2020 Other scientists recently challenged that paper, saying the magnetic minerals inside the zircons could not be accurately dated. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2019 Two minerals, zircon and monazite, held the key to the crater’s age. Popular Science, 22 Jan. 2020 Uranium-lead zircon dating has superseded the much less accurate argon-argon dating, and margins of error that used to span millions of years now span thousands, greatly increasing the resolution of the data. National Geographic, 18 Dec. 2019 Specifically, the multi-heavy mineral prospect consists of abrasives garne and epidote, and zircon, magnetite and gold. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Nov. 2019

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

1794, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zircon


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Cite this Entry

“Zircon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zircon. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zircon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zircon

Nglish: Translation of zircon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zircon


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