a very soft, black, hexagonal mineral of pure carbon, formed in thin plates and found in metamorphic rocks: used in making electrodes, paints, the lead of pencils, etc.
Origin of graphiteGerman graphit ; from Classical Greek graphein, to write (see graphic): from its use as writing material
A soft crystalline allotrope of carbon, composed of graphene layers, having a steel-gray to black metallic luster and a greasy feel, used in lead pencils, lubricants, paints and coatings, and fabricated into a variety of forms such as molds, bricks, electrodes, crucibles, and rocket nozzles. Also called black lead, plumbago.
Origin of graphiteGreek graphein, to write; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots + –ite1.
- An allotrope of carbon consisting of planes of carbon atoms arranged in hexagonal arrays with the planes stacked loosely that is used as a dry lubricant and in "lead" pencils.
- Short for graphite-reinforced plastic, a composite plastic made with graphite fibers noted for light weight strength and stiffness.
- Modern tennis racquets are made of graphite, fibreglass and other man-made materials.
- A grey colour.
From German Graphit (A.G. Werner 1789), from Ancient Greek γράφω (graphō, “I write”).