A naturally occurring, inorganic solid obtained from the earth's crust. Minerals have a specific chemical composition and can be classified by their crystalline structure, color, cleavage, and hardness. The study of minerals is called mineralogy. They are subdivided into three categories: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Minerals include decorative stones, clay and gemstones. They are used in the production of metals, pigments, cement, glass, ceramics, etc. The name 'mineral' was often used to describe compounds dug from the earth, such as mineral wax and mineral spirits. This is, in general, an obsolete naming practice and should not be used.
Synonyms and Related Terms
mineral (Esp;, Port.); minéral (Fr.); Mineral (Deut.); mineraal (Ned.)