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[kal-sahyt] /ˈkæl saɪt/
one of the commonest minerals, calcium carbonate, CaCO 3 , found in a great variety of crystalline forms: a major constituent of limestone, marble, and chalk; calc-spar.
Origin of calcite
1840-50; calc- + -ite1
Related forms
[kal-sit-ik] /kælˈsɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for calcite
  • Wander among impressive calcite formations erupting from the ground and hanging from the ceiling.
  • Corals use the calcite carbonate form while oysters, mussels etc use aragonite.
  • The primary source of calcite, or calcium carbonate, is the secretions of certain sea creatures.
  • In both cases, the researchers carved out a hiding place in a crystal of the mineral calcite.
  • The brittlestar's exoskeleton contains a tightly packed array of calcite crystal lenses.
  • calcite and aragonite are the two crystal forms of calcium carbonate, a property of minerals geologists call dimorphism.
  • Over thousands of years, a solid, almost perfectly round calcite pearl is formed.
  • Depending on the shape the calcite takes, it may be called by different names.
  • No longer able to hold the dissolved calcite, the drop deposited its tiny mineral load as a crystal of calcite.
  • Shale is usually composed largely of clay, but may also contain considerable calcite or even quartz.
British Dictionary definitions for calcite


a colourless or white mineral (occasionally tinged with impurities), found in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, in veins, in limestone, and in stalagmites and stalactites. It is used in the manufacture of cement, plaster, paint, glass, and fertilizer. Composition: calcium carbonate. Formula: CaCO3. Crystal structure: hexagonal (rhombohedral)
Derived Forms
calcitic (kælˈsɪtɪk) adjective
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 calcite

crystalling calcium carbonate, 1849, from German Calcit, coined by Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Karl von Hardinger (1795-1871) from Latin calx (genitive calcis) "lime" (see chalk (n.)) + mineral suffix -ite (2) (German -it).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calcite in Science
A usually white, clear, pale-yellow or blue orthorhombic mineral. Calcite occurs in many different forms and is the main component of chalk, limestone, and marble. It is a polymorph of aragonite. Chemical formula: CaCO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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