• synonyms


noun Geology.
  1. a limestone composed of minute rounded concretions resembling fish roe, in some places altered to ironstone by replacement with iron oxide.
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Origin of oolite

1775–85; (< French oölithe) < New Latin oölithēs. See oo-, -lite
Also called egg stone.
Related formso·o·lit·ic [oh-uh-lit-ik] /ˌoʊ əˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oolite

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for oolite


  1. any sedimentary rock, esp limestone, consisting of tiny spherical concentric grains within a fine matrix
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Derived Formsoolitic (ˌəʊəˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C18: from French from New Latin oolitēs, literally: egg stone; probably a translation of German Rogenstein roe stone
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 oolite


"rock consisting of fine grains of carbonate of lime," 1785, from Modern Latin oolites, from oo-, comb. form of Greek oon "egg" (cognate with Old English æg, see egg (n.)) + lithos "stone" (see litho-). So called because the rock resembles the roe of fish.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

oolite in Science


  1. A sedimentary rock consisting of ooliths that are cemented together by calcium carbonate.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.