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[smith-suh-nahyt] /ˈsmɪθ səˌnaɪt/
noun, Mineralogy
a native carbonate of zinc, ZnCO 3 , that is an important ore of the metal.
1825-35; named after J. Smithson (who distinguished it from calamine); see -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for smithsonite
  • smithsonite was identified in solution breccias exposed in rubble.
British Dictionary definitions for smithsonite


a white mineral consisting of zinc carbonate in hexagonal crystalline form: occurs chiefly in dry limestone regions and is a source of zinc. Formula: ZnCO3 Also called (US) calamine
Word Origin
C19: named after James Smithson
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for smithsonite

zinc carbonate (ZnCO3), a mineral that was the principal source of zinc until the 1880s, when it was replaced by sphalerite. It is ordinarily found in the oxidized zone of ore deposits as a secondary mineral or alteration product of primary zinc minerals; notable deposits are at Laurium, Greece; Bytom and Tarnowskie Gory, Pol.; Sardinia, Italy; and Leadville, Colo., U.S. For detailed physical properties, see carbonate mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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