- 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 stalactites
In a moment I was through the line to the pile of stalactites.The Winged Men of Orcon
David R. Sparks
Thousands of stalactites hung from the roof like golden icicles.The Golden Dream
From the roof of many of these vaults were stalactites, but of no great length.Recollections of Old Liverpool
“It was clever of him to fasten it to these stalactites, too,” added Peggy.The Mystery of Carlitos
Also commonly found in veins, and as spring and cave deposits (stalactites).Geology
William J. Miller
- 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 stalactites
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.