Definitions

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

  • n. A brass-colored mineral, FeS2, occurring widely and used as an iron ore and in producing sulfur dioxide for sulfuric acid. Also called fool's gold, iron pyrites.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The common mineral iron disulfide (FeS2), of a pale brass-yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system.
  • n. Any metallic-looking sulphide, such as the above, which is the most common.
  • n. (usually as a plural: pyrites) Any metal dichalcogenide that is isostructural to the common mineral.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A common mineral of a pale brass-yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system; iron pyrites; iron disulphide.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Native iron disulphid (FeS2), a very common mineral, occurring in isometric crystals, cubes, octahedrons, pyritohedrons, etc., and also, and more often, massive.

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

  • n. a common mineral (iron disulfide) that has a pale yellow color

Etymologies

Middle English perides, pirite, from Old French pirite, from Latin pyrītēs, flint; see pyrites.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Dr. HENNIGH: The fine sparkle you see is pyrite, which is fool's gold.

    Old Wyoming Mines Reopen After Gold Prices Soar

  • The process, termed pyrite oxidation, is enhanced when water moves through and over the surfaces of acid bearing rock exposed through mining activities which disturb the underlying geology.

    Guardian Online

  • The fossils are also rich in the mineral pyrite, which is the work of decomposing bacteria; again, this suggests that they were once living.

    Discover Blogs

  • So instead of making efficiency gains using exotic but expensive thin-film solar cell materials like cadmium telluride, the industry will likely turn to cheap alternatives such as pyrite and copper oxide.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • The fish, in turn, studied me with its round, obsidian eyes, which had a gold lining to their perimeter, like pyrite.

    Fish Story

  • But many of her anecdotes about her early years in broadcasting are revealing, particularly when they suggest how much pyrite the networks served up in what some critics call “the golden age of television.”

    2009 January 22 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • We learn, for instance, that the mineral grains inside the pebble were eroded off the long-lost continent of Avalonia more than 600 million years ago, and, more recently, around 420 million years ago, tiny crystals of fool's gold pyrite settled on the ancient mud to fill in the body cavities of tiny animals whose bodies had sunk into the muck.

    Rock of Ages

  • In January, the main line -- which starts at $115 for a pyrite bracelet adorned with a pearl and $270 for a wood beaded bracelet with a pearl and two diamond rondelles -- was picked up by two retailers.

    Theresa Bruno: The Sliced Collection

  • Depictions of the Classic-era Maya court often show kings gazing raptly into mirrors, usually made from a mosaic of iron pyrite pasted onto wood, slate or other material.

    Enchantment in Mesoamerica

  • Well, I summoned me up that demon and gave him a hunk of iron pyrite the size of a bear skull.

    Soul Trapper

Comments

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  • Tis pyrite indeed. No pirate joke intended.

    January 7, 2009

  • I thought this was called pyrites -- fool's gold.

    January 7, 2009