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late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "mine." Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is first recorded c.1600. Modern scientific sense is from 1813.
early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis (see mineral (n.)). Mineral water (early 15c.) originally was water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it.
mineral min·er·al (mĭn'ər-əl)
A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness.
An inorganic element, such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, or zinc, that is essential to the nutrition of humans, animals, and plants.
Note: Most minerals are crystals, like salt and diamonds.
Note: Rocks are aggregates of minerals.
In the diet, certain substances necessary for the maintenance of life and good health. Some are essential components of bodily substances, such as the calcium in bones and the iron in hemoglobin, whereas others help regulate the activities of metabolism. (See under “Earth Sciences.”)