One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rare white mineral consisting of barium carbonate, occurring especially in veins of galena.
- ‘The most common ores of barium are barite and witherite.’
- ‘The mine was reopened in 1896 and worked by a succession of owners for witherite and barite until 1919.’
- ‘Electron micrographs revealed that the sheets and filaments were composed of densely packed colloidal rods of twinned witherite crystals interspersed and coated with silica.’
- ‘Other carbonates, i.e., ankerite, siderite, witherite, strontianite, may form if the respective metal cations are available.’
- ‘The mining of nonmetallic ores - fluorspar, witherite, and barite (known locally as baryte) - in the Northern Pennines began about the time lead and iron mining were in serious decline.’
Late 18th century: from the name of William Withering (1741–99), the English physician and scientist who first described it, + -ite.
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