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marcasite

[mahr-kuh-sahyt] /ˈmɑr kəˌsaɪt/
noun
1.
Also called white iron pyrites. a common mineral, iron disulfide, FeS 2 , chemically similar to pyrite but crystallizing in the orthorhombic system.
2.
any of the crystallized forms of iron pyrites, much used in the 18th century for ornaments.
3.
a specimen or ornament of this substance.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin marcasīta < Arabic marqashīṭā < Aramaic marqəshītā
Related forms
marcasitical
[mahr-kuh-sit-i-kuh l] /ˌmɑr kəˈsɪt ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for marcasite
  • Iron disulfide can occur as either pyrite which forms in the isometric crystal system or as marcasite which is orthorhombic.
  • marcasite may weather at faster rates than pyrite, sphalerite, and galena.
  • The breccia is limonite-stained, but pyrite and/or marcasite has only been observed in the altered siltstone.
  • In many cases the shells have been replaced by pyrite and marcasite.
  • Coal refuse usually contains some sulfur-bearing minerals, notably pyrite and marcasite, which could result in an acidic leachate.
  • Pyrite and marcasite are the iron sulfides common in coal regions.
  • The production of such leachate is caused by the oxidation of pyrite and marcasite with presence of high sulfur content.
British Dictionary definitions for marcasite

marcasite

/ˈmɑːkəˌsaɪt/
noun
1.
a metallic pale yellow mineral consisting of iron sulphide in orthorhombic crystalline form used in jewellery. Formula: FeS2
2.
a cut and polished form of steel or any white metal used for making jewellery
Derived Forms
marcasitical (ˌmɑːkəˈsɪtɪkəl) adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin marcasīta, from Arabic marqashītā, perhaps from Persian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for marcasite
n.

crystalized pyrite, early 15c., from Medieval Latin marchasita, of obscure origin, perhaps via Spanish, probably from Arabic, though OED doubts this. Perhaps ultimately from Persian marquashisha [Klein]. "This name has been used for a number of substances but mainly for iron pyrites and especially for the crystalline forms used in the 18th century for ornaments." [Flood]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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marcasite in Science
marcasite
  (mär'kə-sīt', -zīt')   
A light yellow to gray, metallic, orthorhombic mineral. Marcasite is a polymorph of pyrite and looks similar to it but has a lower specific gravity, is paler in color, and often has a radiating fibrous structure. Chemical formula: FeS2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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