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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Calcite \Cal"cite\ (k[a^]l"s[imac]t), n. [L. calx, calcis, lime.] (Min.) Calcium carbonate, or carbonate of lime. It is rhombohedral in its crystallization, and thus distinguished from aragonite. It includes common limestone, chalk, and marble. Called also calc-spar and calcareous spar.

Note: Argentine is a pearly lamellar variety; aphrite is foliated or chalklike; dogtooth spar, a form in acute rhombohedral or scalenohedral crystals; calc-sinter and calc-tufa are lose or porous varieties formed in caverns or wet grounds from calcareous deposits; agaric mineral is a soft, white friable variety of similar origin; stalaclite and stalagmite are varieties formed from the drillings in caverns. Iceland spar is a transparent variety, exhibiting the strong double refraction of the species, and hence is called doubly refracting spar.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

crystalling calcium carbonate, 1849, from German Calcit, coined by Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Karl von Hardinger (1795-1871) from Latin calx (genitive calcis) "lime" (see chalk (n.)) + mineral suffix -ite (2) (German -it).


n. (context geology English) a very widely distributed crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3, found as limestone, chalk and marble


n. a common mineral consisting of crystallized calcium carbonate; a major constituent of limestone


Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate ( Ca C O). The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380–470 °C, and vaterite is even less stable.

Usage examples of "calcite".

Elsewhere he saw dogtooth spar, crystallized calcite in the shape of small pyramids.

The small local industry had made full use of the waste products of the mines at Mont Royal, and many of the teak and ivory carvings were decorated with fragments of calcite and fluorspar picked from the refuse heaps, ingeniously worked into the statuettes to form miniature crowns and necklaces.

When the elements named are present in large amount we have the varieties dolomitic calcite, baricalcite, strontianocalcite, ferrocalcite, manganocalcite, zincocalcite and plumbocalcite, respectively.

The latter mode of origin is suggested by the frequent occurrence of calamine pseudomorphous after calcite, that is, having the form of calcite crystals.

To the east, receding and overlapping curtains of calcite drapery, delicate and razor-sharp, seemed to ripple in an unfelt spelean wind.

The rock underfoot was composed of yellowish orange silicates, sprinkled in protected cracks and rills with druzy calcite and quartz.

Along the floor, the calcite flow had recrystallized, forming a shimmering, glowing, frozen river.

The morlocks were throwing chunks of rock and throwing them accurately, but the dense calcite crystals from the roof were doing the most damage.

He heard her for a minute in the tunnel, and then the rustle of morlocks among the complications of the roof again, as well as a chinking noise which he now recognized as meaning they were carrying the heavy calcite crystal missiles.

Made of calcite rods, the same stuff that forms limestone, they constituted the earliest visual systems known.

She scrambled around another pillar and collided with a crumpled block of calcite that had fallen from the ceiling, badly scraping one knee.

Plate VI shows the photograph of a cluster of Calcite crystals as an example of this phenomenon.

White calcite crystals showed here and there in snowy patches on the roof, otherwise the rock was unspectacular.

Only empty stone corridors, weakly coursing fae, and glistening of moisture on slender calcite branches.

Thin calcite spines caught on his shut as he passed, snapped off like burrs as he pressed onward.