A widely occurring pale green to purple mineral, consisting of calcium phosphate with some fluorine, chlorine, and other elements. It is used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
- ‘Magnetite, apatite, titanite and zircon make up the accessory minerals.’
- ‘Some calcareous veins contain epidote, titanite and apatite.’
- ‘The next few pockets yielded only dark blue apatite and clear to smoky to pale citrine quartz.’
- ‘Thus it is with some surprise that we report for the first time the discovery of well-formed crystals of apatite in Ohio.’
- ‘In contrast with the well-known, somewhat similar mine at Panasqueira, Portugal, it is remarkable that at Yaogangxian fluorite is very common, and apatite is rather rare.’
Early 19th century coined in German from Greek apatē ‘deceit’ (from the mineral's diverse forms and colours).