Recorded since 1555, from Old French pyrite (12th century), from Latin pȳritēs, from Ancient Greek πυρίτης λίθος (purítēs líthos, “stone of fire, flint”) (so called because it glitters), notably the first part: adjective πυρίτης (purítēs, “of or in fire”), from πῦρ (pûr, “fire”).
pyrite (plural pyrites)
- (mineralogy) The common mineral iron disulfide (FeS2), of a pale brass-yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system.
- (usually as a plural: pyrites) Any metallic-looking sulphide, such as the above, which is the most common.
- (solid state chemistry) (usually as a plural: pyrites) Any metal dichalcogenide that is isostructural to the common mineral.
- Copper diselenide can occur both as a marcasite and a pyrite.
- fool's gold
- iron pyrites