- the dark, dense igneous rock of a lava flow or minor intrusion, composed essentially of labradorite and pyroxene and often displaying a columnar structure.
Origin of basalt
Examples from the Web for basalt
Somewhere in the basalt hills a lion roared, the sound carrying through the night until another responded.Borana Joins the Fight to Save Kenya’s Rhinos…and Wants You to Help Too
February 18, 2014
Many varieties of stone were used, but the preference was given to basalt.The Railroad Question
Behold, my flesh is solid as basalt, my bones are bars of steel!The Mummy's Foot
The statues of basalt rolled their eyes and smiled hideously.King Candaules
A good solid rock, like basalt, can be cut into slices of about 3/32 inch thick.On Laboratory Arts
Of what use would porphyry, or granite, or basalt be for such purposes?Pagan and Christian Rome
- a fine-grained dark basic igneous rock consisting of plagioclase feldspar, a pyroxene, and olivine: the most common volcanic rock and usually extrusiveSee flood basalt
- a form of black unglazed pottery resembling basalt
Word Origin and History for basalt
c.1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone," from Greek basanites "a species of slate used to test gold," from basanos "touchstone." Not connected with salt. Said by Pliny ["Historia," 36.58] to be an African word, perhaps Egyptian bauhan "slate." Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. Hence Greek basanizein "to be put to the test, examined closely, cross-examined, to be put to torture."
- A dark, fine-grained, igneous rock consisting mostly of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene, and sometimes olivine. Basalt makes up most of the ocean floor and is the most common type of lava. It sometimes cools into characteristic hexagonal columns, as in the Giant's Causeway in Anterim, Northern Island. It is the fine-grained equivalent of gabbro.