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[zee-uh-lahyt] /ˈzi əˌlaɪt/
noun, Mineralogy
any of a group of hydrated silicates of aluminum with alkali metals, commonly occurring as secondary minerals in cavities in basic volcanic rocks: used for their molecular sieve properties because they undergo dehydration with little or no change in crystal structure.
1770-80; < Greek ze(în) to boil + -o- + -lite
Related forms
[zee-uh-lit-ik] /ˌzi əˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for zeolite
  • The sponge sucks in water molecules, which are small and can fit in the zeolite's cavities.
  • Something about zeolite deposits being visible in some scenes.
  • He relates how geologists spotted zeolite into scenery and called the movie directory to find where it was shot.
  • The new catalyst uses zeolite as a base material, which is coated with precious metals.
British Dictionary definitions for zeolite


any of a large group of glassy secondary minerals consisting of hydrated aluminium silicates of calcium, sodium, or potassium: formed in cavities in lava flows and plutonic rocks
any of a class of similar synthetic materials used in ion exchange and as selective absorbents See molecular sieve
Derived Forms
zeolitic (ˌziːəˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
c18: zeo-, from Greek zein to boil + -lite; from the swelling up that occurs under the blowpipe
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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zeolite in Science
Any of a family of hydrous aluminum silicate minerals, whose molecules enclose cations of sodium, potassium, calcium, strontium, or barium. Zeolites are usually white or colorless, but they can also be red or yellow. They are characterized by their easy and reversible loss of water of hydration. They usually occur within cavities in basalt.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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