from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a group of natural, variously colored calcium phosphate minerals containing fluorine, chlorine, or hydroxyl. These compounds form hexagonal crystals and are components of bones and teeth, are a source of phosphorus for plants, and are used in the manufacture of fertilizers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Native calcium phosphate with calcium fluorid or chlorid, generally crystallized in hexagonal prisms, which are sometimes low or even tabular, sometimes elongated, and occasionally of great size.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Min.) Native phosphate of lime, occurring usually in six-sided prisms, color often pale green, transparent or translucent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun mineralogy A calcium fluoride phosphate of variable composition, sometimes used in the manufacture of fertilizer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a common complex mineral consisting of calcium fluoride phosphate or calcium chloride phosphate; a source of phosphorus


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

[From Greek apatē, deceit (from its often being mistaken for other minerals).]



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