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

In their recent study (published June 21 in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science), researchers from Arizona State University dated 21 microscopic shards of zircon — a durable gemstone that can survive underground for billions of years. Fox News, "America's largest asteroid impact left a trail of destruction across the eastern US," 16 Aug. 2019 On display is a 3.4 billion-year-old metaconglomerate rock with 4.4 billion-year-old zircon bits embedded inside it. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Here Are 12 Things You Might Miss in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall," 7 June 2019 Enter Steven Benner’s latest theory of early earth’s wet–dry cycle, indicated by the presence of ancient mineral fragments called zircons. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Life on Earth May Have Been Born From a Maelstrom of Molten Iron," 15 Jan. 2019 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

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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6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for zircon

The first known use of zircon was in 1794

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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

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readily or continually undergoing change

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