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graphite

Use the noun graphite when you're talking about the mineral that's used to make pencil lead.

Graphite is a form of carbon that is most commonly found in pencils, although because it is a good conductor of electricity, it's also used in electrodes and batteries. Graphite can in fact be found in a wide variety of things, from a car's brake pads to industrial lubricants. The word graphite comes from the German Graphit, which was named by a mineralogist in 1789 from the Greek word graphein, "write."

Definitions of graphite
  1. noun
    a soft black lustrous form of carbon that conducts electricity and is used as a lubricant and as a moderator in nuclear reactors
    synonyms: black lead, plumbago
    see moresee less
    types:
    lead, pencil lead
    mixture of graphite with clay in different degrees of hardness; the marking substance in a pencil
    pencil
    graphite (or a similar substance) used in such a way as to be a medium of communication
    type of:
    C, atomic number 6, carbon
    an abundant nonmetallic tetravalent element occurring in three allotropic forms: amorphous carbon and graphite and diamond; occurs in all organic compounds
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