One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tetragonal silicate of calcium and aluminium, occurring as honey-yellow crystals in igneous and metamorphic rocks and many slags. Also: any of a group of related minerals which includes this species, having the general formula A₂BZSiO₇ (where A = Na or Ca, B = Al, Be, Mg, or Zn, and Z = Al or Si).
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Arthur Aikin (1773–1854), natural scientist and author. From French mélilite (J. C. de la Métherie Théorie de la Terre II. 273) from ancient Greek μέλι honey + French -lite.
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