early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis (see mineral (n.)). Mineral water (early 15c.) originally was water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it.
late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "mine." Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is first recorded c. 1600. Modern scientific sense is from 1813.
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