One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A naturally occurring alloy of osmium and iridium, often with traces of other metals; (Mineralogy) an alloy having a cubic crystal structure and in which iridium predominates.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in James Dana (1813–1895), geologist, zoologist, and teacher. From German Osmiridium (C. F. Naumann Lehrbuch der Mineralogie 545; earlier as Osm-iridium), shortened from Osmium-iridium from Osmium + Iridium.
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