from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A brown-to-black, soft, elastic hydrocarbon resin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The mineral wurtzilite.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mineral resin, of a blackish brown color, occurring in soft, flexible masses; -- called also mineral caoutchouc, and elastic bitumen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An elastic mineral resin of a blackish-brown color, subtranslucent, and occurring in soft flexible masses. Also called elastic bitumen and mineral caoutchouc.


elater, elasticity (obsolete) + -ite1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
-ite (Wiktionary)


  • Asphalts and bitumens include a wide variety of hydrocarbon materials, such as gilsonite, grahamite, elaterite, ozokerite, etc., which are used for somewhat different purposes.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.