Definition of selenite in English:



mass noun
  • A form of gypsum occurring as transparent crystals or thin plates.

    • ‘Selenium can be taken up by plant roots as selenate, selenite or as organoselenium compounds such as the amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine.’
    • ‘Patients with this type of cancer who had previously received no chemotherapy were given 200 mcg sodium selenite starting on the first day of surgery or radiation treatment and followed for 60 days.’
    • ‘These include water, phosphate, sulfate, and selenite (a form of selenium).’
    • ‘There are no or very little measurable amounts of selenium occurring as selenite in these accumulator plants.’
    • ‘In several animal studies measuring the distribution of supplemental selenium, tissue storage of selenium was shown to be higher with selenomethionine compared to selenocysteine, selenate, and selenite.’
    • ‘Eventually, basin shallowing allowed in situ precipitation of selenite in shallow lagoons and ponds near the basin depocentre.’
    • ‘First, they demonstrated that selenium salts - both selenate and selenite - can prevent the first of several steps that can lead to cancer, whereas the grain form - selenomethionine - was ineffective.’
    • ‘The organic form of selenium has been found to be more effective than sodium selenite for reproducing animals.’
    • ‘Specifically, sodium selenite is often unsafe at levels exceeding 600 micrograms, whereas selenium from yeast, L-selenomethionine and sodium selenate are generally much safer.’
    • ‘Their oxidation products include an array of arsenates, selenates, and selenites.’
    • ‘The results clearly showed that selenium, as sodium selenite, not only reduced the morbidity and mortality of Keshan disease, but also reduced cardiac damage.’


Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek selēnitēs lithos ‘moonstone’, from selēnē ‘moon’ + lithos ‘stone’.