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[stroh-mat-l-ahyt] /stroʊˈmæt lˌaɪt/
noun, Geology.
a laminated calcareous fossil structure built by marine algae and having a rounded or columnar form.
Origin of stromatolite
< German Stromatolith (1908) < New Latin stromat-, stem of stroma stroma + -o- -o- + German -lith -lith; see -lite
Related forms
[stroh-mat-l-it-ik] /stroʊˌmæt lˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for stromatolite


a rocky mass consisting of layers of calcareous material and sediment formed by the prolific growth of cyanobacteria: such structures date back to Precambrian times
Derived Forms
stromatolitic (strəʊˌmætəˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C20: from Greek, from strōma covering + -lite
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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stromatolite in Science
A dome-shaped structure consisting of alternating layers of carbonate or silicate sediment and fossilized algal mats. Stromatolites are produced over geologic time by the trapping, binding, or precipitating of sediment by groups of microorganisms, primarily cyanobacteria. They are widely distributed in the fossil record and contain some of the oldest recorded forms of life, from over three billion years ago. They continue to form today especially in western Australia.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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