diatomaceous earth

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diatomaceous earth:

see diatomdiatom
, unicellular organism of the kingdom Protista, characterized by a silica shell of often intricate and beautiful sculpturing. Most diatoms exist singly, although some join to form colonies.
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diatomaceous earth

[¦dī·ə·tə¦mā·shəs ′ərth]
(geology)
A yellow, white, or light-gray, siliceous, porous deposit made of the opaline shells of diatoms; used as a filter aid, paint filler, adsorbent, abrasive, and thermal insulator. Also known as kieselguhr; tripolite.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

diatomite, diatomaceous earth, kieselguhr

A white or light gray, chalky, natural siliceous material; obtained by mining deposits of fossil remains of small marine life; used as an extender in paints, as an aggregate in lightweight concrete, as a waterproofing material in portland cement, as a filter for water, and as an abrasive.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.