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[ben-tn-ahyt] /ˈbɛn tnˌaɪt/
noun, Mineralogy
a clay formed by the decomposition of volcanic ash, having the ability to absorb large quantities of water and to expand to several times its normal volume.
Origin of bentonite
1895-1900; named after Fort Benton, Montana; see -ite1
Related forms
[ben-tn-it-ik] /ˌbɛn tnˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bentonite
Historical Examples
  • Sodium sulphate and bentonite are two of the more recent mineral discoveries in North Dakota.

    North Dakota Various
British Dictionary definitions for bentonite


a valuable clay, formed by the decomposition of volcanic ash, that swells as it absorbs water: used as a filler in the building, paper, and pharmaceutical industries
Word Origin
C19: from Fort Benton, Montana, USA, where found, + -ite1
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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