• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Zaffer A pigment obtained, usually by roasting cobalt glance with sand or quartz, as a dark earthy powder. It consists of crude cobalt oxide, or of an impure cobalt arseniate. It is used in porcelain painting, and in enameling pottery, to produce a blue color, and is often confounded with smalt, from which, however, it is distinct, as it contains no potash. The name is often loosely applied to mixtures of zaffer proper with silica, or oxides of iron, manganese, etc.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n zaffer The residuum of cobalt-producing ores after the sulphur, arsenic, and other volatile matters have been more or less completely expelled by roasting. As the result of this process a grayish oxid of cobalt is left behind, which is mingled with various impurities, and usually with some sand. Zaffer is used in the manufacture of smalt, and in various other ways, as in furnishing the beautiful color known as cobalt blue, which is still of importance, although much less so since the discovery of a method of making artificial ultramarine.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Zaffer the impure oxide obtained by partially roasting cobalt ore previously mixed with two or three times its weight of fine sand.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. zafre, safre,; cf. Sp. zafra, safra, It. saffera, G. zaffer,; all probably of Arabic origin. Cf. Zaphara
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. zafre, of Ar. origin.


In literature:

The same day on which we anchored near Diu, one Khojah Zaffer came on board in a galley.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI" by Robert Kerr