[brech-ee-uh, bresh-]

noun Petrology.

rock composed of angular fragments of older rocks melded together.

Origin of breccia

1765–75; < Italian < Germanic; compare Old High German brecha breaking Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breccia

Historical Examples of breccia

  • Its material is a breccia from a quarry near Thebes, and is remarkable for its hardness.

  • Breccia is a rock in which the included fragments are angular.


    James Geikie

  • It is composed of huge blocks of breccia, some of them thirteen feet long.

  • A breccia is a rock made up of angular pebbles or fragments of other rocks.

    Roman Mosaics

    Hugh Macmillan

  • The investigation disclosed several different beds of stalagmite, cave earth, and breccia.

British Dictionary definitions for breccia



a rock consisting of angular fragments embedded in a finer matrix, formed by erosion, impact, volcanic activity, etc
Derived Formsbrecciated, adjective

Word Origin for breccia

C18: from Italian, from Old High German brecha a fragment; see breach
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

Word Origin and History for breccia

"rock of angular pieces," 1774, from Italian breccia, "marble of angular pieces," from a Germanic source akin to Old High German brecha "a breaking," from Proto-Germanic *brekan, from PIE *bhreg- "to break" (see fraction).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

breccia in Science


[brĕchē-ə, brĕchə, brĕsh-]

A rock composed of angular fragments embedded in a fine-grained matrix. Breccias form from explosive volcanic ejections, the compaction of talus, or plate tectonic processes. Breccias are different from conglomerates in that the fragments they contain are angular instead of rounded.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.