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porphyry

[pawr-fuh-ree] /ˈpɔr fə ri/
noun, plural porphyries.
1.
a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish-red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar.
2.
Petrology. any igneous rock containing coarse crystals, as phenocrysts, in a finer-grained groundmass.
Origin of porphyry
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English porfurie, porfirie < Medieval Latin porphyreum, alteration of Latin porphyrītēs < Greek porphyrī́tēs porphyry, short for porphyrī́tēs líthos porphyritic (i.e., purplish) stone, equivalent to pórphyr(os) purple + -ītēs; see -ite1

Porphyry

[pawr-fuh-ree] /ˈpɔr fə ri/
noun
1.
(Malchus) a.d. c233–c304, Greek philosopher.
Related forms
Porphyrean
[pawr-feer-ee-uh n] /pɔrˈfɪər i ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Porphyrian, adjective, noun
Porphyrianist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for porphyry
Historical Examples
  • I was certain that she must have read Iamblichus and porphyry.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • This is commonly illustrated by the ancient tree of porphyry.

    The Classification of Patents United States Patent Office
  • In the distance a curtain of porphyry and bisque drew its shadow across the moon.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • White graves or black, linen or porphyry, Are all one to me.

    Spectra Arthur Ficke
  • Five others were seated on boxes about a boulder that looked like porphyry outcrop.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • The crystals are monoclinic and occur in porphyry almost exclusively.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • "The porphyry dykes here are in syncline," the engineer went on.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • He figgers this sylvanite lies under this porphyry reef, sabe?

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • porphyry gives three lists of the works of the various periods.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Plotinos was willing, and sent them to Sicily where porphyry had retired.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
British Dictionary definitions for porphyry

porphyry

/ˈpɔːfɪrɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
any igneous rock with large crystals embedded in a finer groundmass of minerals
2.
(obsolete) a reddish-purple rock consisting of large crystals of feldspar in a finer groundmass of feldspar, hornblende, etc
Word Origin
C14 porfurie, from Late Latin porphyrītēs, from Greek porphuritēs (lithos) purple (stone), from porphuros purple

Porphyry

/ˈpɔːfɪrɪ/
noun
1.
original name Malchus. 232–305 ad, Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher, born in Syria; disciple and biographer of Plotinus
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
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Word Origin and History for porphyry
n.

type of ornamental stone, late 14c., porfurie, from Old French porfire, from Italian porfiro and in some cases directly from Latin porphyrites, a purple semi-precious stone quarried near the Red Sea in Egypt, from Greek porphyrites (lithos) "the purple (stone)," from porphyra (n.) "purple, purple dye" (see purple). Spelling Latinized mid-15c. Now used generally for a type of igneous rock without regard to color. Porphyrios was an ancient proper name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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porphyry in Science
porphyry
  (pôr'fə-rē)   
An igneous rock containing the large crystals known as phenocrysts embedded in a fine-grained matrix.

porphyritic adjective (pôr'fə-rĭt'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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