American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A mineral with the same composition as pyrite, FeS2, but differing in crystal structure. Also called white iron pyrites.
- n. An ornament of pyrite, polished steel, or white metal.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. As used by the early mineralogists, the crystallized forms of iron pyrites, including more particularly the isometric species now called pyrite. This mineral was frequently used for personal decoration in the eighteenth century. It takes a good polish, and is cut in facets like rose diamonds. It was made into pins, watch-cases, shoe-and knee-buckles, and other ornaments.
- n. In recent use, the orthorhombic iron pyrites, or iron disulphid, FeS2. It has a lower specific gravity than ordinary pyrite, and on an untarnished surface a somewhat paler color, in consequence of which it is often called
white iron pyrites. The crystallized varieties take various imitative forms called cockscomb pyrites, spear pyrites, etc.; the massive kinds are often radiated, concretionary, etc. Marcasite is much more liable to alteration than ordinary pyrite, passing by oxidation into iron sulphate or copperas. The two kinds of iron pyrites often occur together, and the greater the proportion of marcasite the more the liability to alteration; this has been shown (Julien) to be an important element in the durability of building-stones containing pyrites.
- n. geology A pale mineral, FeS2. Marcasite is physically and crystallographically distinct from pyrite, although the two have the same chemical composition.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Min.) A sulphide of iron resembling pyrite or common iron pyrites in composition, but differing in form; white iron pyrites.
- Middle English, from Medieval Latin marcasīta, from Arabic marqašīṯā, from Aramaic marqəšitā, from Akkadian marḫašu, from marḫaši, ancient region in the eastern Iranian plateau. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Scarce a single advertisement of wares of milliner or mantua maker can he found in eighteenth century newspapers that does not contain in some form of spelling the word marcasite, and scarce”
“To balance the tomboy elements in her look, she highlights her femininity and her rocker edge through subtle sparkle by implementing marcasite rings and brooches and clothing with stud embellishments into her wardrobe.”
“It's difficult to see in these pictures which were taken with the camera in my Blackberry, but they're silver, marcasite, and not-real diamonds.”
“Nineteen-twenties marcasite batted its steel eyelashes in the clear sunlight.”
“Rampant Victoriana tends to be a bit too fussy for me, but there were some lovely bits of jet and marcasite jewelry that called my name.”
“January 10th, 2006 at 12:14 am jewelry marcasite says:”
“The peaty water danced as Alice waded dreamily in the red and gold shallows, which sparkled and glittered like marcasite.”
“These bracelets and necklaces are fastened by a brooch or pin of brilliants or marcasite.”
“It is possible that some of the pyrite reported by archaeologists may be marcasite.”
“Her black gown was finished with a little white fillet round the neck and her slippers were adorned with shameless marcasite buckles.”
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