Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[mag-muh] /ˈmæg mə/
noun, plural magmas, magmata
[mag-muh-tuh] /ˈmæg mə tə/ (Show IPA)
Geology. molten material beneath or within the earth's crust, from which igneous rock is formed.
any crude mixture of finely divided mineral or organic matter.
Chemistry, Pharmacology. a paste composed of solid and liquid matter.
Origin of magma
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin: dregs, leavings < Greek mágma kneaded mass, salve, equivalent to mag- (base of mássein to knead, press; see mass) + -ma noun suffix of result
Related forms
[mag-mat-ik] /mægˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
magmatism, noun
Can be confused
lava, magma. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for magma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The scientist pointed out the magma on Dr. Williams' sketch.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • According to what we have, this is the shape of a magma front.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Notice that the magma is not following the original channels.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Now, two magma areas were showing where only one had shown before.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • At any rate, it is somewhat above this discontinuity that magma is formed.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • The tunnel would have to be done before the magma started to move.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • On the other hand, the magma could find weaknesses we haven't detected.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for magma


noun (pl) -mas, -mata (-mətə)
a paste or suspension consisting of a finely divided solid dispersed in a liquid
hot molten rock, usually formed in the earth's upper mantle, some of which finds its way into the crust and onto the earth's surface, where it solidifies to form igneous rock
Derived Forms
magmatic (mæɡˈmætɪk) adjective
magmatism, noun
Word Origin
C15, from Latin: dregs (of an ointment), from Greek: salve made by kneading, from massein to knead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for magma

mid-15c., "dregs," from Latin magma "dregs of an ointment," from Greek magma "thick unguent, ointment," from root of massein "to knead, mold," from PIE *mag- "to knead" (see macerate). Geological meaning "molten rock" is 1859. Related: Magmalic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
magma in Medicine

magma mag·ma (māg'mə)

  1. A mixture of finely divided solids with enough liquid to produce a pasty mass.

  2. A suspension of particles in a liquid, such as milk of magnesia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
magma in Science
Plural magmata (māg-mä'tə) or magmas
The molten rock material that originates under the Earth's crust and forms igneous rock when it has cooled. When magma cools and solidifies beneath the Earth's surface, it forms what are known as intrusive rocks. When it reaches the Earth's surface, it flows out as lava and forms extrusive (or volcanic) rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
magma in Culture

magma definition

Molten rock usually located deep within the mantle of the Earth that occasionally comes to the surface through cracks in the mantle or through the eruption of volcanoes.

Note: When magma cools and solidifies, it forms igneous rock, of which lava is one type.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for magma

Difficulty index for magma

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for magma

Scrabble Words With Friends