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Basalt definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BASALT', n. bazalt'. [Pliny informs us that the Egyptians found in Ethiopia, a species of marble, called basaltes, of an iron color and hardness, whence it received its name. Nat.Hist.Lib.36.Song 7. But according to Da Costa, that stone was not the same which now bears the name of basalt. Hist. of Fossils.p.263. If named from its color, it may be allied to the Fr. basane, tawny. Lunier refers it to the Ethiopic basal, iron, a word I cannot find.]
A dark, grayish black mineral or stone, sometimes bluish or brownish black, and when withered,the surface is grayish or reddish brown. It is amorphous, columnar, tabular or globular. The columnar form is straight or curved, perpendicular or inclined, sometimes nearly horizontal; the diameter of the columns from three inches to three feet, sometimes with transverse semi-spherical joints, in which the convex part of one is inserted in the concavity of another. The forms of the columns generally are pentagonal, hexagonal, or octagonal. It is sometimes found also in rounded masses, either spherical, or compressed and lenticular. These rounded masses are sometimes composed of concentric layers, with a nucleus, and sometimes of prisms radiating from a center. It is heavy and hard. The pillars of the Giant's causey in Ireland, composed of this stone and exposed to the roughest sea for ages, have their angles as perfect as those at a distance from the waves. The English miners call it cockle; the German, shorl,or shoerl. It is called by Kirwan, Figurate Trap, from its prismatic forms.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: the commonest type of solidified lava; a dense dark grey fine-grained igneous rock that is composed chiefly of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Latin basaltes, manuscript variant of basanites touchstone, from Greek basanit?s (lithos), from basanos touchstone, from Egyptian b?nw Date: 1601 a dark gray to black dense to fine-grained igneous rock that consists of basic plagioclase, augite, and usually magnetite basaltic adjective

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a dark basic volcanic rock whose strata sometimes form columns. 2 a kind of black stoneware resembling basalt. Derivatives: basaltic adj. Etymology: L basaltes var. of basanites f. Gk f. basanos touchstone

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Basalt Ba*salt", n. [N. basaltes (an African word), a dark and hard species of marble found in Ethiopia: cf. F. basalte.] 1. (Geol.) A rock of igneous origin, consisting of augite and triclinic feldspar, with grains of magnetic or titanic iron, and also bottle-green particles of olivine frequently disseminated. Note: It is usually of a greenish black color, or of some dull brown shade, or black. It constitutes immense beds in some regions, and also occurs in veins or dikes cutting through other rocks. It has often a prismatic structure as at the Giant's Causeway, in Ireland, where the columns are as regular as if the work of art. It is a very tough and heavy rock, and is one of the best materials for macadamizing roads. 2. An imitation, in pottery, of natural basalt; a kind of black porcelain.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(basalts) Basalt is a type of black rock that is produced by volcanoes. N-MASS

Moby Thesaurus

aa, abyssal rock, bedrock, block lava, brash, breccia, conglomerate, crag, druid stone, festooned pahoehoe, gneiss, granite, igneous rock, lava, limestone, living rock, magma, mantlerock, metamorphic rock, monolith, pahoehoe, pillow lava, porphyry, pudding stone, regolith, rock, ropy lava, rubble, rubblestone, sandstone, sarsen, schist, scoria, scree, sedimentary rock, shelly pahoehoe, stone, talus, tufa, tuff



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