One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Mineralogy. Originally: (more fully "quartz-resinite") a siliceous material of resinous or opaline appearance. In later use: fossilized resin, especially as a constituent (maceral) of coal, in which it typically occurs as elliptical or spindle-shaped bodies.
2Chemistry. A synthetic resin produced by the condensation of phenol and formaldehyde. Compare "resite". Now historical and rare.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From resin + -ite. In sense 1 after French résinite, adjective (R. J. Haüy Traité de minéral II. 433 in quartz résinite; the use as noun is apparently not paralleled until slightly later).
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