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[sil-i-kit, -keyt] /ˈsɪl ɪ kɪt, -ˌkeɪt/
Mineralogy. any of the largest group of mineral compounds, as quartz, beryl, garnet, feldspar, mica, and various kinds of clay, consisting of SiO 2 or SiO 4 groupings and one or more metallic ions, with some forms containing hydrogen. Silicates constitute well over 90 percent of the rock-forming minerals of the earth's crust.
Chemistry. any salt derived from the silicic acids or from silica.
Origin of silicate
1805-15; silic(a) + -ate2
Related forms
[sil-i-key-shuh n] /ˌsɪl ɪˈkeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
nonsilicate, noun
subsilicate, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for silicate
  • The terrestrial planets are made of silicate minerals, which are oxygen-rich.
  • The formation of colloidal silica can be generated by acidification of silicate salts.
  • Heinz's group used mica, a silicate mineral that can be cleaved to produce smooth surfaces many microns across.
  • Most lava flows consist of basalt, which is a silicate.
  • Rather than silicate rocks, they'd have carbonaceous ones.
  • When they die they sink to the bottom of the reservoir, where the silicate remains.
  • Zircons--bits of zirconium and silicate that form in granite--are durable minerals.
  • They are too cool to have silicate clouds, but too warm for water clouds.
  • In silicate melts, water acts as a diluent and lowers the viscosity.
  • The older they are the darker they become because they get coated with darker silicate material from meteoroids.
British Dictionary definitions for silicate


/ˈsɪlɪkɪt; -ˌkeɪt/
a salt or ester of silicic acid, esp one of a large number of usually insoluble salts with polymeric negative ions having a structure formed of tetrahedrons of SiO4 groups linked in rings, chains, sheets, or three dimensional frameworks. Silicates constitute a large proportion of the earth's minerals and are present in cement and glass
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 silicate

1811, from silica + -ate (3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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silicate in Medicine

silicate sil·i·cate (sĭl'ĭ-kāt', -kĭt)
Any of numerous compounds containing silicon, oxygen, and one or more metals; a salt of silicic acid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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silicate in Science
  1. Any of a large class of chemical compounds composed of silicon, oxygen, and at least one metal. Most rocks and minerals are silicates.

  2. Any mineral containing the group SiO4, either isolated, or joined to other groups in chains, sheets, or three-dimensional groups with metal elements. Micas and feldspars are silicate minerals.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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