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1. Any of a group of natural, variously colored calcium phosphate minerals containing fluorine, chlorine, or hydroxyl. These compounds form hexagonal crystals and are components of bones and teeth, are a source of phosphorus for plants, and are used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
2. See fluorapatite.
[From Greek apatē, deceit (from its often being mistaken for other minerals).]
(Minerals) a pale green to purple mineral, found in igneous rocks and metamorphosed limestones. It is used in the manufacture of phosphorus, phosphates, and fertilizers. Composition: calcium fluorophosphate or calcium chlorophosphate. General formula: Ca5(PO4,CO3)3(F,OH,Cl). Crystal structure: hexagonal
[C19: from German Apatit, from Greek apatē deceit; from its misleading similarity to other minerals]
a common mineral, calcium fluorophosphate, Ca5FP3O12, occurring in individual crystals and in masses and varying in color, formerly used in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.
[1795–1805; < Greek apát(ē) trickery, fraud, deceit + -ite1]
A usually green, transparent mineral consisting mainly of calcium phosphate. Apatite occurs as hexagonal crystals in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and is used as a source of phosphate for making fertilizers. It is the mineral used to represent a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale.
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|Noun||1.||apatite - a common complex mineral consisting of calcium fluoride phosphate or calcium chloride phosphate; a source of phosphorus|
atomic number 15, P, phosphorus - a multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells; is highly reactive and occurs in several allotropic forms
atomic number 65, Tb, terbium - a metallic element of the rare earth group; used in lasers; occurs in apatite and monazite and xenotime and ytterbite
atomic number 69, thulium, Tm - a soft silvery metallic element of the rare earth group; isotope 170 emits X-rays and is used in small portable X-ray machines; it occurs in monazite and apatite and xenotime
mineral - solid homogeneous inorganic substances occurring in nature having a definite chemical composition
fluorapatite - a form of apatite in which fluorine predominates over chlorine