From German Quarz, from Middle High German (Central East German) quarz, twarc, from a West Slavic language [compare Polish twardy (“hard”), Czech tvrdý (“hard”), Russian твёрдый (tvjórdyj, “hard”)], from Old Church Slavonic тврьдъ (tvrĭdŭ, “firm”), from Proto-Slavic *tvьrdъ.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /kwɔːts/
- (General American) IPA(key): /kwɔɹts/, /kɔɹts/
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- Homophone: courts (some accents)
- (mineralogy) The most abundant mineral on the earth's surface, of chemical composition silicon dioxide, SiO2. It occurs in a variety of forms, both crystalline and amorphous. Found in every environment.
- 1883, George Downing Liveing and James Dewar, “On the Ultra-Violet Spectra of the Elements”, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, volume 174, Barrison and Sons, part I, page 188:
- The telescope and collimator have each an object-glass consisting of a single lens of quartz 1½ inch diameter and a focal length of 18½ inches for the sodium yellow light, but not more than 16 inches for the highest rays measured.
- 1892 April 1, Armiger Barczinsky, “The Golden Snail”, in Sylvanus Urban (pseudonym of Edward Cave), editor, The Gentleman's Magazine, volume 272, page 331:
- Subsequently, the old Malay brought him the present specimen in a state of torpidity, telling him he had found him it in a cavity of the quartz reef.
- 1948, Theodore Roethke, “The Shape of the Fire”, in The Lost Son and Other Poems:
- My meat eats me. Who waits at the gate? / Mother of quartz, your words writhe into my ear. / Renew the light, lewd whisper.