Definition of cryolite in English:



  • [mass noun] A white or colourless mineral consisting of a fluoride of sodium and aluminium. It is added to bauxite as a flux in aluminium smelting.

    • ‘Potroom asthma has been recognized for many years in workers employed in the production of aluminum smelting, where the alumina is partially dissolved in an electrolyte of molten cryolite at about 960°C.’
    • ‘Fluorine never occurs as an element in nature, but is found in minerals such as fluorspar, fluorapatite, and cryolite.’
    • ‘The deposit at the Eureka tunnel was mined for cryolite and thomsenolite, which were used as a flux in the manufacture of glass bottles.’
    • ‘When Pauly completed his study of ‘old’ specimens of the fluoride minerals, he had found three unknowns with a cubic habit that were similar to minerals in the cryolite ore from Ivigtut, Greenland.’
    • ‘Hall found that aluminum oxide will melt at a much lower temperature if it is first mixed with a mineral known as cryolite.’


Early 19th century: from cryo- ‘cold, frost’(because the main deposits are found in Greenland) + -lite.