One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of the mineral uraninite occurring in brown or black pitch-like masses and containing radium.
- ‘The most common ore of the element is pitchblende, although it is also present in other minerals, such as uraninite, carnotite, uranophane, and coffinite.’
- ‘The first discovery of pitchblende in the United States was associated with gold ores at the Wood mine in Gilpin County.’
- ‘The hint of a new element in pitchblende materialized in July 1898, when the couple reported gathering a substance that was 400 times more active than metallic uranium.’
- ‘The story of the Curie's four-year struggle to purify, purify, and purify over again the components of pitchblende has now been told in popular novels, plays, and motion pictures.’
- ‘It is worth recalling the history of this treatment, which began when American, James Douglas, discovered extensive pitchblende deposits on his Western mining properties.’
Late 18th century: from German Pechblende, from Pech ‘pitch’ + Blende (see blende).
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