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[with -uh-rahyt] /ˈwɪð əˌraɪt/
a white to grayish mineral, barium carbonate, BaCO 3 , occurring in crystals and masses: a minor ore of barium.
1785-95; named after W. Withering (1741-99), who first described it; see -ite1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for witherite
  • Many barite and witherite veins of limited extent occupy fractures in volcanic rocks.
  • Considerable levels may be found in some groundwaters and in effluents from areas where barytes and witherite are mined.
British Dictionary definitions for witherite


a white, grey, or yellowish mineral consisting of barium carbonate in orthorhombic crystalline form: occurs in veins of lead ore. Formula: BaCO3
Word Origin
C18: named after W. Withering (1741–99), English scientist, who first described it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for witherite

a carbonate mineral, barium carbonate (BaCO3), that is, with the exception of barite, the most common barium mineral, despite its rarity. It is ordinarily found in fairly pure form in association with barite and galena in low-temperature hydrothermal veins, as in the north of England and in Scotland. Because of its solubility in common acids, witherite is preferred to barite in the preparation of other barium compounds. It is also used in case-hardening steel and in refining sugar. For detailed physical properties, see carbonate mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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