[ sap-ruh-lahyt ]

  1. soft, disintegrated, usually more or less decomposed rock remaining in its original place.

Origin of saprolite

First recorded in 1890–95; sapro- + -lite

Other words from saprolite

  • sap·ro·lit·ic [sap-ruh-lit-ik], /ˌsæp rəˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby saprolite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for saprolite


/ (ˈsæprəʊlɪt) /

  1. a deposit of earth, clay, silt, etc, formed by decomposition of rocks that has remained in its original site

Derived forms of saprolite

  • saprolitic, 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 saprolite


[ săprə-līt′ ]

  1. Soft, thoroughly decomposed and porous rock, often rich in clay, formed by the in-place chemical weathering of igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary rocks. Saprolite is especially common in humid and tropical climates. It is usually reddish brown or grayish white and contains those structures (such as cross-stratification) that were present in the original rock from which it formed.

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