a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish-red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar.
Petrology. any igneous rock containing coarse crystals, as phenocrysts, in a finer-grained groundmass.
Other definitions for Porphyry (2 of 2)
Malchus, a.d. c233–c304, Greek philosopher.
- Por·phyr·e·an [pawr-feer-ee-uhn], /pɔrˈfɪər i ən/, adjective
- Por·phyr·i·an, adjective, noun
- Por·phyr·i·an·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use porphyry in a sentence
He stood still an instant, hidden by the porphyry columns of the portico.
The crystallised ray enshrines the liquid, and the porphyry flagstones of the terraces reflect the surrounding objects like ice.Charles Baudelaire, His Life | Thophile Gautier
In vain he sought support against one of the porphyry columns at the facade of the mosque.The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman | Eugne Sue
The river, perfectly clear of rocks, was a sheet of liquid porphyry, an arrow of dark-red water slightly flecked with foam.Overland | John William De Forest
Now, among the spoil were some bronze gates and two rosy pillars of porphyry, very precious.Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa | Edward Hutton
British Dictionary definitions for porphyry (1 of 2)
any igneous rock with large crystals embedded in a finer groundmass of minerals
obsolete a reddish-purple rock consisting of large crystals of feldspar in a finer groundmass of feldspar, hornblende, etc
British Dictionary definitions for Porphyry (2 of 2)
original name Malchus. 232–305 ad, Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher, born in Syria; disciple and biographer of Plotinus
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
Scientific definitions for porphyry
An igneous rock containing the large crystals known as phenocrysts embedded in a fine-grained matrix.
- porphyritic adjective (pôr′fə-rĭt′ĭk)
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