- a deposit, usually of calcium carbonate, shaped like an icicle, hanging from the roof of a cave or the like, and formed by the dripping of percolating calcareous water.
Origin of stalactite
Examples from the Web for stalactite
It will be seen that, at one place, the stalactite has united with the stalagmite below.The Prehistoric World
E. A. Allen
I will also exchange minerals for stalagmites, and a trilobite for a stalactite.
This is evident from the stalactite formation which remains on it.The Jenolan Caves
Other pellets are attached, until this pillar, like a stalactite in a cave, is completed.The Cricket's Friends
Virginia W. Johnson
The other must be the tube that leads to the stalactite cave, said Mrs. Vernon.Girl Scouts at Dandelion Camp
Lillian Elizabeth Roy
- a cylindrical mass of calcium carbonate hanging from the roof of a limestone cave: formed by precipitation from continually dripping waterCompare stalagmite
Word Origin and History for stalactite
1670s, Englished from Modern Latin stalactites (used 1654 by Olaus Wormius), from Greek stalaktos "dripping," from stalassein "to trickle," from PIE root *stag- "to seep, drip, drop" (cf. German stallen, Lithuanian telziu "to urinate").
- A cylindrical or conical mineral deposit projecting downward from the roof of a cave or cavern, formed by the dripping of water saturated with minerals. Stalactites form gradually as the minerals precipitate out of the saturated water. They usually consist of calcite but can also consist of other minerals. Compare stalagmite.