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soapstone

[sohp-stohn] /ˈsoʊpˌstoʊn/
noun
1.
a massive variety of talc with a soapy or greasy feel, used for hearths, washtubs, tabletops, carved ornaments, etc.
Also called steatite.
Origin
1675-1685
1675-85; soap + stone
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for soap stone

soapstone

/ˈsəʊpˌstəʊn/
noun
1.
a massive compact soft variety of talc, used for making tabletops, hearths, ornaments, etc Also called steatite
Word Origin
C17: so called because it has a greasy feel and was sometimes used as soap
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 soap stone

soapstone

n.

type of talc, 1680s, from soap (n.) + stone (n.). So called because it is occasionally used for cleaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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soap stone in Science
soapstone
  (sōp'stōn')   
A soft metamorphic rock composed mostly of the mineral talc, but also including chlorite, pyroxene, and amphibole. It has a schistose texture and is greasy to the touch. Soapstone forms through the alteration of ferromagnesian silicate minerals during metamorphism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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