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[kri-stoh-buh-lahyt] /krɪˈstoʊ bəˌlaɪt/
noun, Mineralogy
a polymorph of quartz occurring in volcanic rock in the form of colorless, translucent crystals.
1885-90; named after San Cristóbal, a hill near Pachuca de Soto, Mexico; see -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cristobalite
  • Some volcanic rock contains cristobalite and tridymite.
  • cristobalite and tridymite can be found in volcanic rocks and soils.
  • Three samples were collected for quartz, cristobalite, and total particulate.
  • cristobalite and tridymite are two other forms of crystalline silica.
  • Investment materials often contain large amounts of cristobalite.
  • The ceramic and brick lining of boilers and vessels, some ceramic tiles, and volcanic ash contain cristobalite.
  • cristobalite is also similar to quartz but with various impurities.
  • Structurally cristobalite is in the cubic or tetragonal system.
British Dictionary definitions for cristobalite


a white microcrystalline mineral consisting of silica and occurring in volcanic rocks. Formula: SiO2
Word Origin
C19: from German, named after Cerro San Cristóbal, Mexico, where it was discovered
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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Encyclopedia Article for cristobalite

the stable form of silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) between its melting point of 1,728 C (3,142 F) and 1,470 C (2,678 F), below which tridymite is the stable form. Cristobalite has two modifications: low-cristobalite, which occurs naturally up to 268 C (514 F) but is not stable; and high-cristobalite, which occurs above 268 C but is only stable above 1,470 C. Natural low-cristobalite usually occurs in sub-microcrystalline masses (see opal) or fibrous to columnar spherulites (see lussatite) in igneous rocks. Cristobalite has the same chemical composition as coesite, stishovite, quartz, and tridymite but has a different crystal structure. For detailed physical properties, see silica mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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