One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A yellowish-brown mineral which occurs in some igneous rocks and consists of a phosphate of yttrium and other rare earth elements.
- ‘Other accessory minerals are apatite, zircon, monazite, huttonite and rare xenotime, uraninite and betafite.’
- ‘Zircon, monazite, xenotime and white mica were extracted from the sample.’
- ‘Textures of kyanite, xenotime and monazite, and some staurolite and biotite, indicate that peak metamorphic mineral growth occurred after D 2 deformation.’
- ‘I dutifully explained that the smoky spots were probably the result of natural irradiation caused by many tiny radioactive mineral grains, possibly monazite or xenotime.’
- ‘Pale brown to yellow xenotime and zircon are abundant as fine crystals up to 2 mm in length in many of the miarolitic granite cavities as well as in pegmatite pockets.’
Mid 19th century: from xeno-, apparently erroneously for Greek kenos ‘vain, empty’, + timē ‘honour’ (because it was wrongly supposed to contain a new metal).
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