We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

zeilanite, n.

Forms:  18 zeilanite, 18 zeylanite. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from German. Etymon: German Zeilanit.
Etymology: < German Zeilanit, Zeylanit, variants of Ceylanit (1801 or earlier; < French ceylanite  ceylonite n.), with remodelling of the suffix after -ite suffix1.
Compare earlier ceylonite n.
The German forms with initial z   reflect German †Zeilan  , †Zeylan  , former variants of Ceylon  , †Ceylan  , the former name of Sri Lanka ( < English Ceylon  , †Ceylan  : see Ceylon n.). In German, the first syllable of the place name is usually pronounced /tsai/ as a result of spelling pronunciation (hence the diphthong in English), with z subsequently sometimes replacing c to represent the initial /ts/.
Mineralogy. Now rare.

  A variety of spinel containing iron, first discovered in Sri Lanka; = ceylonite n.Formula: (Mg, Fe)Al2O4.

1815   C. L. Giesecke Syllabus Mineral Syst. 6 (table)    Family of Rubies... Zeylanite.
1851   H. Watts tr. L. Gmelin Hand-bk. Chem. V. 275   Aluminate of Ferrous Oxide.—Zeilanite [Ger. Zeilanit].
1892   Jrnl. Analyt. & Appl. Chem. 9 584   It is assumed that spinel must contain MgO, that gahnite and franklinite must contain ZnO, that zeilanite must contain Al2O3.
1956   Parl. Debates (Austral. House of Representatives) 10 1475/2   Will the Minister advise..whether he is aware of the delay in electrical construction at mines, mills and industrial projects, due to the shortage of zeilanite.

This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2018).