- a diabase in which elongate crystals of plagioclase are embedded in pyroxene.
Origin of ophite
1350–1400; Middle English ophites < Latin ophītēs serpentine stone < Greek ophī́tēs (líthos) serpentine (stone), equivalent to óph(is) serpent + -ī́tēs -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ophitic
This produces the ophitic structure (very common also in the dolerites).
Many of them are ophitic, especially those which contain olivine, but others are intersertal, like the intersertal dolerites.
Ophitic structure is commonest in olivine-dolerites, though the olivine takes no part in it.
- (of the texture of rocks such as dolerite) having small elongated unorientated feldspar crystals enclosed within pyroxene grains
- any of several greenish mottled rocks with ophitic texture, such as dolerite and diabase
C17: from Latin ophītēs, from Greek, from ophis snake: because the mottled appearance resembles the markings of a snake
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