Definition of witherite in English:


Pronunciation /ˈwiT͟Həˌrīt/ /ˈwɪðəˌraɪt/


  • A rare white mineral consisting of barium carbonate, occurring especially in veins with galena.

    ‘The mining of nonmetallic ores - fluorspar, witherite, and barite (known locally as baryte) - in the Northern Pennines began about the time lead and iron mining were in serious decline.’
    • ‘The most common ores of barium are barite and witherite.’
    • ‘Other carbonates, i.e., ankerite, siderite, witherite, strontianite, may form if the respective metal cations are available.’
    • ‘The mine was reopened in 1896 and worked by a succession of owners for witherite and barite until 1919.’
    • ‘Electron micrographs revealed that the sheets and filaments were composed of densely packed colloidal rods of twinned witherite crystals interspersed and coated with silica.’


Late 18th century from the name of William Withering (1741–99), the English physician and scientist who first described it, + -ite.