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The thermal expansion of AlN, cubic BN, and BP has been measured from 77 to 1300 K by x-ray techniques. The derived thermal expansion coefficients are compared with those of diamond, Si, Ge, SiC, GaP, and BeO using the Debye temperature as a scaling parameter. It is apparent that the thermal expansion of Si is the smallest, SiC is intermediate, and all of the others are larger. The thermal expansion of Mo and W is also reviewed in order to determine how well these metals match the thermal expansion of the adamantine or diamondlike crystals.