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[stahy-luh-lahyt] /ˈstaɪ ləˌlaɪt/
noun, Geology.
an irregular columnar structure in certain limestones, the columns being approximately at right angles to the bedding planes.
Origin of stylolite
First recorded in 1865-70; stylo-2 + -lite
Related forms
[stahy-luh-lit-ik] /ˌstaɪ ləˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for stylolite


any of the small striated columnar or irregular structures within the strata of some limestones
Derived Forms
stylolitic (ˌstaɪləˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek stulos pillar + -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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stylolite in Science
A contact surface usually found between two calcareous rock layers, marked by a series of jagged interlocking up-and-down projections that resemble a suture or the tracing of a stylus. Stylolites are found in rocks that have been subjected to pressure and are formed by a process, called pressure dissolution, whereby insoluble material, such as clay and hydrocarbons, becomes concentrated along a surface while other more soluble material, such as calcite, is carried away.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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