One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An amorphous clayey rock that is the chief commercial ore of aluminum. It consists largely of hydrated alumina with variable proportions of iron oxides.
- ‘East of Budapest there was still bauxite and coal deposition.’
- ‘It is among the world's leading producers of bauxite and alumina, which are exported to Canada, Norway, and the United States.’
- ‘The major exports are bauxite and alumina, apparel, sugar, bananas, coffee, citrus and citrus products, rum, cocoa, and labor.’
- ‘The principal economic activities and primary sources of foreign exchange are bauxite mining and alumina production, tourism, and sugar and banana exports.’
- ‘We also need information about whether this plant will be processing alumina, or bauxite; this can make a world of difference.’
Mid 19th century: from French, from Les Baux(the name of a village near Arles in SE France, near which it was first found) + -ite.
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