One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of the large subclass of silicate minerals characterized by SiO₄ tetrahedra linked in sheets of indefinite extent in which the ratio of silicon and aluminium to oxygen is 2:5, important members of which include mica, serpentine, talc, chlorite, and the clay minerals.
1940s; earliest use found in Mineralogical Abstracts. From phyllo- + silicate, after German Phyllosilikat.
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