[ rahy-uh-lahyt ]

  1. a fine-grained igneous rock rich in silica: the volcanic equivalent of granite.

Origin of rhyolite

1865–70; rhyo- (irregular <Greek rhýax stream of lava) + -lite

Other words from rhyolite

  • rhy·o·lit·ic [rahy-uh-lit-ik], /ˌraɪ əˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby rhyolite

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rhyolite in a sentence

  • Intrepid travelers can ice climb its namesake feature, hike through glassy frozen caves, or trek through Iceland’s dormant volcanoes and remote rhyolite mountains.

  • This is shown in the glaciated rock-surfaces of the rim that are covered with layers of pumice and rhyolite.

    Your National Parks | Enos A. Mills
  • Granite is an acidic rock corresponding to rhyolite in chemical composition.

    The Elements of Geology | William Harmon Norton
  • The oldest volcanic rock appears to be rhyolite, which peers up in two small hills almost smothered beneath the lake deposits.

  • Basalt is less siliceous than granite and rhyolite, and contains much more iron, calcium, and magnesium.

    Geology | William J. Miller
  • rhyolite and other forms of lava were last spread over the region.

    Your National Parks | Enos A. Mills

British Dictionary definitions for rhyolite


/ (ˈraɪəˌlaɪt) /

  1. a fine-grained igneous rock consisting of quartz, feldspars, and mica or amphibole. It is the volcanic equivalent of granite

Origin of rhyolite

C19: rhyo- from Greek rhuax a stream of lava + lite

Derived forms of rhyolite

  • rhyolitic (ˌraɪəˈlɪtɪk), adjective

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 rhyolite


[ ə-līt′ ]

  1. A usually light-colored, fine-grained extrusive igneous rock that is compositionally similar to granite. It often includes flow lines formed during the extrusion.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.