[ pahy-rok-seen, puh-, pahy-rok-seen ]
/ paɪˈrɒk sin, pə-, ˈpaɪ rɒkˌsin /


any of a very common group of minerals of many varieties, silicates of magnesium, iron, calcium, and other elements, occurring as important constituents of many kinds of rocks, especially basic igneous rocks.

Origin of pyroxene

1790–1800; < French; see pyro-, xeno-; orig. supposed to be a foreign substance when found in igneous rocks

Related forms

py·rox·en·ic [pahy-rok-sen-ik] /ˌpaɪ rɒkˈsɛn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pyroxene

British Dictionary definitions for pyroxene


/ (paɪˈrɒksiːn) /


any of a group of silicate minerals having the general formula ABSi 2 O 6, where A is usually calcium, sodium, magnesium, or iron, and B is usually magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, or aluminium. Pyroxenes occur in basic igneous rocks and some metamorphic rocks, and have colours ranging from white to dark green or black. They may be monoclinic (clinopyroxenes) or orthorhombic (orthopyroxenes) in crystal structure. Examples are augite (the most important pyroxene), diopside, enstatite, hypersthene, and jadeite

Derived Forms

pyroxenic (ˌpaɪrɒkˈsɛnɪk), adjective

Word Origin for pyroxene

C19: pyro- + -xene from Greek xenos foreign, because it was mistakenly thought to have originated elsewhere when found in igneous rocks
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

Science definitions for pyroxene


[ pī-rŏksēn′ ]

Any of a series of dark silicate minerals having the general chemical formula ABSi2O6, where A is either calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), or iron (Fe), and B is either magnesium, iron, chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), or aluminum (Al). Pyroxenes vary in color from white to dark green or black and are characterized by a rectangular-shaped cross section. They can be either monoclinic or orthorhombic and occur in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The minerals enstatite, diopside, and augite are pyroxenes.
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