Definition of pyrites in English:


(also pyrite, iron pyrites)


  • [mass noun] A shiny yellow mineral consisting of iron disulphide and typically occurring as intersecting cubic crystals.

    • ‘The assemblage present included quartz, chalcopyrite, pyrite, sphalerite, magnetite, and hematite.’
    • ‘Many conclude that because pyrite is cubic, pyrrhotite must be hexagonal, as it often appears.’
    • ‘The mordenite is associated with a hemispherical form of pale yellow calcite and cubic pyrite.’
    • ‘In terms of finance alone, last night was the difference between digging gold or iron pyrites.’
    • ‘Chalcopyrite is occasionally found in the manto orebodies as small crystals on sphalerite and pyrite.’


Late Middle English (denoting a mineral used for kindling fire): via Latin from Greek puritēs of fire, from pur fire.