[ mag-muh ]
See synonyms for magma on
noun,plural mag·mas, mag·ma·ta [mag-muh-tuh]. /ˈmæg mə tə/.
  1. Geology. molten material beneath or within the earth's crust, from which igneous rock is formed.

  2. any crude mixture of finely divided mineral or organic matter.

  1. Chemistry, Pharmacology. a paste composed of solid and liquid matter.

Origin of magma

1400–50; late Middle English <Latin: dregs, leavings <Greek mágma kneaded mass, salve, equivalent to mag- (base of mássein to knead, press; see mass) + -ma noun suffix of result

Other words from magma

  • mag·mat·ic [mag-mat-ik], /mægˈmæt ɪk/, adjective
  • mag·ma·tism, noun

Words that may be confused with magma

Words Nearby magma Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use magma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for magma


/ (ˈmæɡmə) /

nounplural -mas or -mata (-mətə)
  1. a paste or suspension consisting of a finely divided solid dispersed in a liquid

  2. hot molten rock, usually formed in the earth's upper mantle, some of which finds its way into the crust and onto the earth's surface, where it solidifies to form igneous rock

Origin of magma

C15, from Latin: dregs (of an ointment), from Greek: salve made by kneading, from massein to knead

Derived forms of magma

  • magmatic (mæɡˈmætɪk), adjective
  • magmatism, noun

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 magma


[ măg ]

Plural magmata (măg-mä) or magmas
  1. The molten rock material that originates under the Earth's crust and forms igneous rock when it has cooled. When magma cools and solidifies beneath the Earth's surface, it forms what are known as intrusive rocks. When it reaches the Earth's surface, it flows out as lava and forms extrusive (or volcanic) rocks.

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

Cultural definitions for magma


Molten rock usually located deep within the mantle of the Earth that occasionally comes to the surface through cracks in the mantle or through the eruption of volcanoes.

Notes for magma

When magma cools and solidifies, it forms igneous rock, of which lava is one type.

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.