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[zur-kon] /ˈzɜr kɒn/
a common mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO 4 , occurring in small tetragonal crystals or grains of various colors, usually opaque: used as a refractory when opaque and as a gem when transparent.
Origin of zircon
1785-95; < German Zirkon; see jargon2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for zircon
  • Mineral sands, such as zircon, sit under a tarpaulin.
  • The ash contains minerals such as zircon that can be dated precisely from the radioactive decay of some of their components.
  • Illegal logging and gold and zircon mining are other threats.
  • Production of zirconium is from two ore minerals, zircon and baddeleyite.
  • zircon, the principal ore material, was mined at many locations worldwide.
  • zircon is used both for its properties as a mineral and as an ore of zirconium and hafnium.
  • U-Pb ages of zircon in sediments are used to determine the provenance of the sediments.
  • The source rocks for these zircon crystals have not yet been found.
  • Fixed-partial dentures fabricated of zircon-oxide ceramics were introduced in dentistry some time ago.
  • Hafnium and zirconium occur together in the ore mineral zircon.
British Dictionary definitions for zircon


a reddish-brown, grey, green, blue, or colourless hard mineral consisting of zirconium silicate in tetragonal crystalline form with hafnium and some rare earths as impurities. It occurs principally in igneous rocks and is an important source of zirconium, zirconia, and hafnia: it is used as a gemstone and a refractory. Formula: ZrSiO4
Word Origin
C18: from German Zirkon, from French jargon, via Italian and Arabic, from Persian zargūn golden
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 zircon

1794, new name given in chemistry to jacinth, from German Zirkon (cf. French jargon, Italian giargone), from Arabic zarqun "cinnabar, bright red," from Persian zargun "gold-colored," from Avestan zari- "gold-colored," from zar "gold."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zircon in Science
A brown, reddish to bluish, gray, green, or colorless tetragonal mineral that occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and especially in sand. The colorless varieties are valued as gems. Chemical formula: ZrSiO4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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