Definition of steatite in English:



  • The mineral talc occurring in consolidated form, especially as soapstone.

    ‘In Scandinavia many bowls and cooking vessels have been found carved from soapstone, or steatite, a mineral that is very heat tolerant.’
    • ‘Potters at Bristol used steatite or soapstone - the ingredient that gives Worcester porcelain durability and enables it to hold hot liquids without cracking.’
    • ‘In addition to the mosaic icons, this gallery held a small number of works of steatite and precious stone that were used for private devotions or for personal adornment.’
    • ‘Research is continuing, but it poses the question, do we have here a unique glazed stone item, reminiscent of the glazed steatite of 5th millennium Mesopotamia?’
    • ‘Miniature mosaic icons, images in metal, ivory, and steatite, at different scales and levels of skill all survive.’



/ˈstēəˌtīt/ /ˈstiəˌtaɪt/


Mid 18th century via Latin from Greek steatītēs, from stear, steat- ‘tallow’.