Definition of sphalerite in English:



  • [mass noun] A shiny mineral, yellow to dark brown or black in colour, consisting of zinc sulphide.

    zinc blende
    and → blende
    • ‘With sphalerite, it is one of the rarest minerals of the pillow basalts.’
    • ‘Most of the sphalerite in the Eagle mine is marmatite, the black iron-rich variety.’
    • ‘Black sphalerite is found within the gold-quartz vein and in the adjacent country rock.’
    • ‘The crystals are perched on quartz along with rosin-colored sphalerite showing the black tarnish reported by Hurst.’
    • ‘Marmatite is the black, high-iron variety of sphalerite.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek sphaleros deceptive + -ite. Compare with blende.