Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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 ?
Above it lie the several minerals in their usual order, and over all is a coat of rich mould, ten or twelve feet deep.
This appeared to be devoted to minerals, and the sight of a block of sulphur set my mind running on gunpowder.
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.
They drank--that is, Nathaniel Letton took mineral water served by the smoothly operating machine of a lackey who inhabited the place, while Dowsett took Scotch and soda and Daylight a cocktail.
In the course of the day he arrived at the plain of white clay, already mentioned, surrounded by the mineral springs, called Beer Springs, by the trappers.
The mineral waters of Arva Wai* ooze forth from the crevices of a rock, and gliding down its mossy side, fall at last, in many clustering drops, into a natural basin of stone fringed round with grass and dewy-looking little violet-coloured flowers, as fresh and beautiful as the perpetual moisture they enjoy can make them.
It is, in fact, one of the mineral magazines which nature has provided in the heart of this vast realm of fertility, and which, in connection with the immense beds of coal on the same river, seem garnered up as the elements of the future wealth and power of the mighty West.
Is thought an attribute also of the mineral kingdom?"
They had formerly been worked as savages always work mines -- holes grubbed in the earth and the mineral brought up in sacks of hide by hand, at the rate of a ton a day; but I had begun to put the mining on a scientific basis as early as I could.
My fancy made a picture of them distended with three weeks' absorption of mineral springs.
There were cakes, buns, sandwiches, tea and coffee, all free; but if you wanted mineral water you had to pay for it.
He found the liver considerably enlarged, and the digestive powers weakened, while the course of mineral waters had been quite without effect.

Full browser ?