or pearl·ite


noun Petrography.

a volcanic glass in which concentric fractures impart a distinctive structure resembling masses of small spheroids, used as a plant growth medium.

Origin of perlite

From French, dating back to 1825–35; see origin at pearl1, -ite1
Related formsper·lit·ic [pur-lit-ik] /pɜrˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perlite

Historical Examples of perlite

  • "This gentleman has been so perlite to me, James," said she.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Much obleeged to him for being so perlite in showing me round.

    Airship Andy

    Frank V. Webster

  • And he had been "so perlite as to ask me how was Grandmother Gano."

    The Open Question

    Elizabeth Robins

  • He's too perlite by half, with his smile and his fine lingo and all.

    In Clive's Command

    Herbert Strang

  • You gimme sech a tu'n, dat I ain't got room ter be perlite skacely.'

    Nights With Uncle Remus

    Joel Chandler Harris

British Dictionary definitions for perlite




a variety of obsidian consisting of masses of small pearly globules: used as a filler, insulator, and soil conditioner
Derived Formsperlitic or pearlitic (pɜːˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for perlite

C19: from French, from perle pearl 1
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