late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "a mine" (see mine (n.1)).
Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is attested from early 15c. The modern scientific sense ("inorganic body occurring in nature, homogeneous and having a definite chemical composition and certain distinguishing physical characteristics") is by 1813.
As an adjective, early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable, inorganic," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis. The sense of "impregnated with minerals" is first in mineral water (early 15c.), which originally was "water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it" (later made so artificially).
updated on October 09, 2020
Dictionary entries near mineral