Definition of silicate in US English:



  • 1A salt in which the anion contains both silicon and oxygen, especially one of the anion SiO₄²⁻.

    • ‘Silicon is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, since most common rocks have crystalline frameworks made from silicon and oxygen: they are silicates.’
    • ‘Certain salts, such as the dichromates, borates, and silicates, act as inhibitors to the aqueous corrosion of zinc.’
    • ‘The most significant user is the glass industry, which uses sodium carbonate to decompose silicates for glass making.’
    • ‘By sharing two oxygen atoms, silicates can form either cyclic or chain structures.’
    • ‘The weathering of calcium silicate rocks over millions of years converted the insoluble calcium silicate into soluble calcium salts, which were carried to the oceans.’
    1. 1.1 Any of the many minerals consisting primarily of SiO₄²⁻ combined with metal ions, forming a major component of the rocks of the earth's crust.
      • ‘Montmorillonite is a swelling clay formed from the degradation of silicates such as feldspars, volcanic minerals, chlorite and illite, and is commonly found in alkaline soils today.’
      • ‘With the exception of quartz and the feldspars, few common rock-forming silicates are available in fine, collectible specimens on a regular basis.’
      • ‘Instead, silica is found in polymerized combinations with metals as silicates embedded in geologic rock formations, such as quartz.’
      • ‘Soil typically includes an organic plant layer, topsoil and layers of minerals, silicates, clay and parent materials.’
      • ‘Those plants obtain various minerals and silicates from earth in their bodies during growth process.’