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[ol-uh-veen, ol-uh-veen] /ˈɒl əˌvin, ˌɒl əˈvin/
Mineralogy. any of a group of magnesium iron silicates, (Mg,Fe) 2 SiO 4 , occurring in olive-green to gray-green masses as an important constituent of basic igneous rocks.
Also called chrysolite.
Origin of olivine
1785-95; < German Olivin, equivalent to Olive olive + -in -ine2
Related forms
[ol-uh-vin-ik] /ˌɒl əˈvɪn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
[ol-uh-vi-nit-ik] /ˌɒl ə vɪˈnɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for olivine


/ˈɒlɪˌviːn; ˌɒlɪˈviːn/
an olive-green mineral of the olivine group, found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The clear-green variety (peridot) is used as a gemstone. Composition: magnesium iron silicate. Formula: (MgFe)2SiO4. Crystal structure: orthorhombic Also called chrysolite
any mineral in the group having the general formula (Mg,Fe,Mn,Ca)2SiO4
Word Origin
C18: from German, named after its colour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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olivine in Science
An olive-green to brownish-green orthorhombic mineral. Olivine is a common mineral in the igneous rocks, such as basalt and gabbro, that make up most of the Earth's crust beneath the oceans. Chemical formula: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. ◇ Olivine in which the mafic component consists entirely of magnesium is called forsterite. Chemical formula: Mg2SiO4. ◇ Olivine in which the mafic component consists entirely of iron is called fayalite. Chemical formula: Fe2SiO4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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