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

  • noun Worthless rock or other material in which valuable minerals are found.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In mining, the non-metalliferous or earthy minerals accompanying the ore in a vein or mineral deposit; the part of a lode which is not called ore, or which has no commercial value; veinstone.
  • noun In mineral analysis, the foreign material or impurity present with the mineral under examination.

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

  • noun (Mining) The mineral or earthy substance associated with metallic ore.

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

  • noun mining The earthy waste substances occurring in metallic ore.


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

[French, from German Gang, lode, from Middle High German ganc, from Old High German gang, a going.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word gangue.


  • The gossan is likely to resist erosion and to be conspicuous at the surface, -- though this depends largely on the relative resistance of the wall rocks, and on whether the gangue is a hard material like quartz, or some material which weathers more rapidly like limestone or igneous rock.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology 1915

  • Hence the elimination of the worthless "gangue" by concentration of the iron particles associated with it, seemed to be the only solution of the problem.

    Edison, His Life and Inventions Frank Lewis Dyer 1905

  • La couleur est d'un rouge violet lie de vin, tirant sur celle de fleurs de pêche, lorsqu'elle est peu intense; on le trouve quelquefois en aiguilles divergentes, partant d'une centre commun, et formant de jolies rosettes à la surface de la gangue.

    The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe 2006

  • Movement of minerals involves the removal and processing of raw ores, during which a huge quantity of gangue is discarded.

    Phosphorus use in China 2007

  • The 24 sappers and 60 linesmen extracted nearly 4,000 lbs. of gangue per diem, when the English manager and his assistant, with four of the ten miners died, and the plant was destroyed by fire.

    Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo 2003

  • Mr. Clarke had many uncut specimens at Zagázig, embedded in a dark gangue, which he called “porphyry,” as opposed to the limestone which bears the silicate of copper.

    The Land of Midian 2003

  • The turquoise-gangue from Ziba (Chap. XII.) was pronounced, by the inexpert mineralogists at the Citadel, Cairo, who attempted criticism, to be carbonate of copper, because rich silicates of that metal were shown at the Exposition.

    The Land of Midian 2003

  • February 20th at the diggings, made a plan, and sent back two camel-loads (four sacks) of the gangue, in charge of a soldier, to the Fort of El – Muwaylah.

    The Land of Midian 2003

  • If a 'pocket' is found, the lot would be sieved and the oversize consists of tanzanite and gangue (uneconomical material) is discarded.

    4. Small Scale Gemstone Mining 1996

  • Slag is the gangue of iron ore and is obtained by separation at the moment of fusion of the ore.

    Chapter 8 1994


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

  • In mining, the worthless rock or vein matter in which valuable metals or minerals occur.

    Mollusque, would this fit on your "Lees" list?

    August 28, 2008

  • "The creative man will not, then, be he who has deduced something new ex nihilo, btu he who has identified it, by intuition, by trial and error, by chance — or by that infinite patience which for Flaubert was a sign of genius — amid the gangue that enclosed it and concealed it from our eyes."

    - Umberto Eco, in his foreword to Tristano by Nanni Balestrini

    October 15, 2014