a very common mineral, soft native carbon, occurring in black to dark-gray foliated masses, with metallic luster and greasy feel: used for pencil leads, as a lubricant, and for making crucibles and other refractories; plumbago; black lead.

1790–1800; < German Graphit < Greek gráph(ein) to write, draw + German -it -ite1

graphitic [gruh-fit-ik] , adjective
nongraphitic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
graphite (ˈɡræfaɪt)
Also called: plumbago a blackish soft allotropic form of carbon in hexagonal crystalline form: used in pencils, crucibles, and electrodes, as a lubricant, as a moderator in nuclear reactors, and, in a carbon fibre form, as a tough lightweight material for sporting equipment
[C18: from German Graphit; from Greek graphein to write + -ite1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1796, from Ger. Graphit "black lead," coined 1789 by Ger. mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750-1817) from Gk. graphein "write;" so called because it was used for pencils.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
graphite   (grāf'īt')  Pronunciation Key 
A naturally occurring, steel-gray to black, crystalline form of carbon. The carbon atoms in graphite are strongly bonded together in sheets. Because the bonds between the sheets are weak, other atoms can easily fit between them, causing graphite to be soft and slippery to the touch. Graphite is used in pencils and paints and as a lubricant and electrode. It is also used to control chain reactions in nuclear reactors because of its ability to absorb neutrons.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
White-coated workers supervise machines as they wind graphite tape around the
At slower speeds they would have turned into graphite, much to the chagrin of
  brides-to-be everywhere.
White sketched in graphite pencil and colored with indigo, vermilion and ground
  gold and silver leaf, among other pigments.
His monochromatic work is executed with graphite sticks and gesso washes,
  merging drawing with painting.
Images for graphite
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