zircon

noun
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 Laura Geggel reports for Live Science, the first of the dating techniques the researchers used measured uranium and thorium’s decay into helium to calculate the age of small zircon crystals retrieved from the site. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Rock Art and Footprints Reveal How Ancient Humans Responded to Volcanic Eruption," 4 June 2019 Tiny igneous zircon grains within this rock fragment were fractured by the launch from Mars but otherwise unaltered for more than 4.4 billion years. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "When did life have a chance on Mars? After giant meteorites stopped hitting it 4.4 billion years ago," 24 June 2019 About 5,000 minerals — crystalline substances such as quartz, zircon and diamond — have been found on Earth. Quanta Magazine, "How Life and Luck Changed Earth’s Minerals," 11 Aug. 2015 Minerals in the zircon show a time when Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and plate tectonics began. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Here Are 12 Things You Might Miss in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall," 7 June 2019 The zircon carbide ends up providing the material with a stiffness even at high temperatures, while the tungsten is flexible enough to keep the whole thing from being brittle. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New material could up efficiency of concentrated solar power," 19 Oct. 2018 Scientists arrived at its true age after isolating certain minerals known as zircons. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The Ancient Martian Rock that Fell to Earth," 20 Nov. 2013 The new finding confirms that the zircon comes from the island itself. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Think They’ve Found a Mini Continent in the Indian Ocean," 2 Feb. 2017 The researchers recovered zircons as old as 3 billion years, Ashwal says in a press release. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Think They’ve Found a Mini Continent in the Indian Ocean," 2 Feb. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of zircon

1794, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zircon

German

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zircon

Dictionary Entries near zircon

zip up

ziram

zircaloy

zircon

zirconate

zirconia

zirconic

Statistics for zircon

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zircon

The first known use of zircon was in 1794

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on zircon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zircon

Spanish Central: Translation of zircon

Nglish: Translation of zircon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zircon

Comments on zircon

What made you want to look up zircon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!