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[sil-vahyt] /ˈsɪl vaɪt/
a common mineral, potassium chloride, KCl, colorless to milky-white or red, occurring in crystals, usually cubes, and masses with cubic cleavage, bitter in taste: the most important source of potassium.
Also, sylvin, sylvine
[sil-vin] /ˈsɪl vɪn/ (Show IPA)
1965-70; < Latin (sal digestīvus) Sylvi(ī) digestive salt of Sylvius (see Sylvian fissure) + -ite1; replacing sylvine < French Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for sylvin


a soluble colourless, white, or coloured mineral consisting of potassium chloride in cubic crystalline form with sodium impurities: it occurs chiefly in sedimentary beds and is an important ore of potassium. Formula: KCl
Word Origin
C19: sylvite, alteration of sylvine, from New Latin sal digestiva Sylvii digestive salt of Sylvius, after Franciscus Sylvius (died 1672), German anatomist. See -ite1, -ine²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Encyclopedia Article for sylvin


halide mineral, potassium chloride (KCl), the chief source of potassium. It is rarer than halite (sodium chloride) and occurs as soft, bitter-tasting, white or grayish, glassy cubes or as masses with halite and gypsum in evaporite deposits in the vicinity of Stassfurt, Ger., and in southwestern New Mexico, U.S. It was first found (1823) as an incrustation on lava from Mt. Vesuvius.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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