• synonyms


  1. a dark-green to black mineral of the amphibole group, calcium magnesium iron and hydroxyl aluminosilicate.
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Origin of hornblende

From German, dating back to 1760–70; see origin at horn, blende
Related formshorn·blen·dic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hornblende

Historical Examples of hornblende

  • The minerals at contact are quartz, biotite, magnetite and hornblende.

    The Long Labrador Trail

    Dillon Wallace

  • The magnetic iron ore is associated with hornblende and quartzite.

  • Brown hornblende, like that of the camptonites, occurs in many of them.

  • White crystals of felspar in a dark base of hornblende and felspar.

  • Diorite is a crystalline aggregate of a soda-felspar and hornblende.


    James Geikie

British Dictionary definitions for hornblende


  1. a black or greenish-black mineral of the amphibole group, found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Composition: calcium magnesium iron sodium aluminium aluminosilicate. General formula: (Ca,Na) 2.3 (Mg,Fe,Al) 5 Si 6 (Si,Al) 2 O 22 (OH) 2
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Derived Formshornblendic, adjective

Word Origin for hornblende

C18: from German Horn horn + blende
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 hornblende


1796, from German Hornblende, from horn (see horn (n.)) + blende (see blende).

The term "Hornblende" is an old German name for any dark, prismatic crystal found with metallic ores but containing no valuable metal (the word "Blende" indicates "a deceiver") [Herbert Bucksch, "Dictionary Geotechnical Engineering," 1995]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hornblende in Science


  1. A common, green to black mineral of the amphibole group. It has a variable composition and occurs in monoclinic crystals with a hexagonal cross-section, in fibrous forms, or in granular forms. Hornblende is found in many metamorphic and igneous rocks. Chemical formula: (Ca,Na)2-3(Mg,Fe,Al)5(Al,Si)8O22(OH)22.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.