- 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.
Origin of porphyry
- Malchus, a.d. c233–c304, Greek philosopher.
Examples from the Web for porphyry
Historical Examples of porphyry
I was certain that she must have read Iamblichus and Porphyry.Melomaniacs
This is commonly illustrated by the ancient tree of Porphyry.The Classification of Patents
United States Patent Office
In the distance a curtain of porphyry and bisque drew its shadow across the moon.Erik Dorn
White graves or black, linen or porphyry, Are all one to me.Spectra
Five others were seated on boxes about a boulder that looked like porphyry outcrop.Rimrock Trail
J. Allan Dunn
- 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
Word Origin for porphyry
- original name Malchus. 232–305 ad, Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher, born in Syria; disciple and biographer of Plotinus
type of ornamental stone, late 14c., porfurie, from Old French porfire, from Italian porfiro and in some cases directly from Latin porphyrites, a purple semi-precious stone quarried near the Red Sea in Egypt, from Greek porphyrites (lithos) "the purple (stone)," from porphyra (n.) "purple, purple dye" (see purple). Spelling Latinized mid-15c. Now used generally for a type of igneous rock without regard to color. Porphyrios was an ancient proper name.
- An igneous rock containing the large crystals known as phenocrysts embedded in a fine-grained matrix.