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See more synonyms for Pliny on Thesaurus.com
  1. the ElderGaius Plinius Secundus, a.d. 23–79, Roman naturalist, encyclopedist, and writer.
  2. his nephew (“the Younger,” Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus) a.d. 62?–c113, Roman writer, statesman, and orator.
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Related formsPlin·i·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plinian

Historical Examples

  • Read two papers before the Plinian Society of Edinburgh "at the close of 1826 or early in 1827."

    More Letters of Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin

  • Fast-moving deadly pyroclastic flows (“nuées ardentes”) are also commonly associated with plinian eruptions.


    Robert I. Tilling

  • The most powerful eruptions are called “plinian” and involve the explosive ejection of relatively viscous lava.


    Robert I. Tilling

  • It would be impossible in any case for me to attempt a Plinian panegyric, or a French éloge.

British Dictionary definitions for plinian


  1. geology (of a volcanic eruption) characterized by repeated explosions
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Word Origin

C20: named after Pliny the Younger, who described such eruptions


  1. known as Pliny the Elder. Latin name Gaius Plinius Secundus. 23–79 ad, Roman writer, the author of the encyclopedic Natural History (77)
  2. his nephew, known as Pliny the Younger. Latin name Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus. ?62–?113 ad, Roman writer and administrator, noted for his letters
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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