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1. A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness.
2. Any of various natural substances, as:
a. An element, such as gold or silver.
b. An organic derivative, such as coal or petroleum.
c. A substance, such as stone, sand, salt, or coal, that is extracted or obtained from the ground or water and used in economic activities.
3. A substance that is neither animal nor vegetable; inorganic matter.
4. An inorganic element, such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, or zinc, that is essential to the nutrition of humans, animals, and plants.
5. An ore.
6. Chiefly British
a. minerals Mineral water.
b. A soft drink.
1. Of or relating to minerals: a mineral deposit.
2. Impregnated with minerals.

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin minerāle, from neuter of minerālis, pertaining to mines, from Old French miniere, mine, from mine; see mine1.]


  • douse, dowse - Douse first meant "knock, punch, strike" and now means "to extinguish or wet thoroughly"; dowse means to look for water or minerals with a divining rod.
  • hard water - That which contains large amounts of minerals.
  • mica - Any of a group of minerals that occur in small glittering plates or scales in other rocks.
  • micronutrient - One of the vitamins and minerals needed only in small amounts for normal body function.


Inorganic substances present in many foods. Very small quantities of minerals are needed to help maintain growth and health.
References in classic literature ?
The shelves were devoted to specimens of curious minerals, neatly labeled and arranged.
Above it lie the several minerals in their usual order, and over all is a coat of rich mould, ten or twelve feet deep.
But in this I have adopted the following order: first, I have essayed to find in general the principles, or first causes of all that is or can be in the world, without taking into consideration for this end anything but God himself who has created it, and without educing them from any other source than from certain germs of truths naturally existing in our minds In the second place, I examined what were the first and most ordinary effects that could be deduced from these causes; and it appears to me that, in this way, I have found heavens, stars, an earth, and even on the earth water, air, fire, minerals, and some other things of this kind, which of all others are the most common and simple, and hence the easiest to know.
This appeared to be devoted to minerals, and the sight of a block of sulphur set my mind running on gunpowder.
On the walls, over the doors, on the ceiling, were swords, daggers, Malay creeses, maces, battle-axes; gilded, damasked, and inlaid suits of armor; dried plants, minerals, and stuffed birds, their flame-colored wings outspread in motionless flight, and their beaks forever open.
He tarries not for such an obstacle, but, rending it asunder a thousand feet from peak to base, discloses its treasures of hidden minerals, its sunless waters, all the secrets of the mountain's inmost heart, with a mighty fracture of rugged precipices on each side.
Commercial Minerals Company) stones, ground with as much care as the lens of a telescope.
He once nearly threw out of the window another cadet who had begun to tease him about his collection of minerals.
He made collections of shells and minerals, knew how to stuff birds, kept a mass of curiosities bought for nothing in his bedroom; took possession of phials and empty perfume bottles for his specimens; pinned butterflies and beetles under glass, hung Chinese parasols on the walls, together with dried fishskins.
I traded for postage-stamps, for minerals, for curios, for birds' eggs, for marbles (I had a more magnificent collection of agates than I have ever seen any boy possess--and the nucleus of the collection was a handful worth at least three dollars, which I had kept as security for twenty cents I loaned to a messenger-boy who was sent to reform school before he could redeem them).
We followed in his wake a space, then dropped down a zigzag trail that he disdained into a group of noble redwoods that stood about a pool of water murky with minerals from the mountain side.
The shoes of swiftness, the sword of sharpness, the power of subduing the elements, of using the secret virtues of minerals, of understanding the voices of birds, are the obscure efforts of the mind in a right direction.

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