- a metamorphic rock, generally made up of bands that differ in color and composition, some bands being rich in feldspar and quartz, others rich in hornblende or mica.
Origin of gneiss
Borrowed into English from German around 1750–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gneissic
West of this line the rocks are chiefly Tertiary and Quaternary; east of it they are mostly Palaeozoic or gneissic.
A fine-grained rock of gneissic structure having a faint pink color.The Long Labrador Trail
- any coarse-grained metamorphic rock that is banded and foliated: represents the last stage in the metamorphism of rocks before melting
C18: from German Gneis, probably from Middle High German ganeist spark; related to Old Norse gneista to give off sparks
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 gneissic
1757, from German Gneiss "type of metamorphic rock," probably from Middle High German gneist "spark" (so called because the rock glitters), from Old High German gneisto "spark" (cf. Old English gnast "spark," Old Norse gneisti).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A highly foliated, coarse-grained metamorphic rock consisting of light-colored layers, usually of quartz and feldspar, alternating with dark-colored layers of other minerals, usually hornblende and biotite. Individual grains are often visible between layers. Gneiss forms as the result of the regional metamorphism of igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks.
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