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[ver-mik-yuh-lahyt] /vərˈmɪk yəˌlaɪt/
any of a group of platy minerals, hydrous silicates of aluminum, magnesium, and iron, that expand markedly on being heated: used in the expanded state for heat insulation and as a plant growth medium.
1815-25, Americanism; vermicul(ar) + -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vermiculite
  • vermiculite was loaded here and taken to the exfoliation site.
  • vermiculite is a non-fibrous, platy, weathered mica mineral type used in many commercial and consumer applications.
  • vermiculite was used as insulation in houses as well as many other products.
  • vermiculite is also naturally occurring in this area.
  • Originally, the vermiculite was dumped on the floor of the plant.
  • It was one of the highest volume vermiculite processors in the nation.
British Dictionary definitions for vermiculite


any of a group of micaceous minerals consisting mainly of hydrated silicate of magnesium, aluminium, and iron: on heating they expand and exfoliate and in this form are used in heat and sound insulation, fireproofing, and as a bedding medium for young plants
Word Origin
C19: from vermicul(ar) + -ite1
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 vermiculite

1814, from Latin vermiculari (from vermiculus, diminutive of vermis; see worm) + -ite.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for vermiculite

clay mineral similar to montmorillonite in structure and, in some cases, composition. Vermiculite is typically formed by the alteration of biotite, and it occurs both as large pseudomorphs replacing biotite and as small particles in soils and ancient sediments. It is also formed at the interface between acidic intrusive rocks and basic rocks such as pyroxenites and dunites. Large deposits occur in South Africa, Australia, Russia, and Brazil. In the United States, it is found in Montana and the Carolinas. For chemical formula and detailed physical properties, see clay mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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