a fine-grained volcanic rock composed chiefly of alkali feldspar and nepheline, some varieties of which split into pieces that ring on being struck.

Origin of phonolite

1820–30; < French < German Phonolith. See phono-, -lite
Related formspho·no·lit·ic [fohn-l-it-ik] /ˌfoʊn lˈɪt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phonolite

Historical Examples of phonolite

British Dictionary definitions for phonolite



a fine-grained volcanic igneous rock consisting of alkaline feldspars and nepheline
Derived Formsphonolitic (ˌfəʊnəˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for phonolite

C19: via French from German Phonolith; see phono-, -lite
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 phonolite

a kind of volcanic rock that rings when struck, c.1830, literally "sounding stone," from phono- + -lite. Based on German klingstein.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper