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basalt

[ buh-sawlt, bas-awlt, bey-sawlt ]
/ bəˈsɔlt, ˈbæs ɔlt, ˈbeɪ sɔlt /
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noun

the dark, dense igneous rock of a lava flow or minor intrusion, composed essentially of labradorite and pyroxene and often displaying a columnar structure.

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Origin of basalt

1595–1605; <Latin basaltēs, a misreading, in manuscripts of Pliny, of basanītēs<Greek basanī́tēs (líthos) touchstone, equivalent to básan(os) touchstone (ultimately <Egyptian bh̬n(w) graywacke) + -ītēs-ite1
ba·sal·tic, ba·sal·tine [buh-sawl-tin, -tahyn], /bəˈsɔl tɪn, -taɪn/, adjectivesub·ba·sal·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for basalt

basalt
/ (ˈbæsɔːlt) /

noun

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
basaltic, adjective
C18: from Late Latin basaltēs, variant of basanītēs, from Greek basanitēs touchstone, from basanos, of Egyptian origin
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

Scientific definitions for basalt

basalt
[ bə-sôlt, bāsôlt′ ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for basalt

basalt
[ (buh-sawlt, bay-sawlt) ]

A hard, dense igneous rock that makes up much of the material in tectonic plates. The part of the Earth's crust beneath the oceans consists mainly of basalt whereas continental crust consists mainly of less dense rocks, such as granite. (See plate tectonics.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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