Any of a large class of rock-forming silicate minerals, generally containing calcium, magnesium, and iron and typically occurring as prismatic crystals.
- Extreme cases are found in mineral groups such as apatite, amphibole, pyroxene, feldspar, and tourmaline.
- This is consistent with the fact that olivine is typically entrapped in pyroxene and amphibole crystals.
- Chain silicates are called pyroxenes or inosilicates.
Early 19th century: from pyro- 'fire' + Greek xenos 'stranger' (because the mineral group was supposed alien to igneous rocks).
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