One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Church History. A member of any of a number of sects, both in the early church and later, who imitated the biblical Adam by going naked, typically as a symbol of purity.
2A person who is descended from the biblical Adam, especially a member of a specific branch of humanity derived from the biblical Adam rather than some other ancestor.
3Specifically. A white Caucasian. Now chiefly historical.
Descended or deriving from the biblical Adam.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Elyot (c1490–1546), humanist and diplomat. From the name of Adam + -ite.
A zinc mineral occurring as yellow, green, or colourless crystals or crystal aggregates.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Geological Magazine. From the name of G. J. Adam, French mineralogist, who supplied the first specimens of the mineral + -ite, after French adamine adamine.
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