• synonyms


[stuh-lag-mahyt, stal-uh g-mahyt]
  1. a deposit, usually of calcium carbonate, more or less resembling an inverted stalactite, formed on the floor of a cave or the like by the dripping of percolating calcareous water.
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Origin of stalagmite

1675–85; < New Latin stalagmites < Greek stálagm(a) a drop (stalag-, stem of stalássein to drip + -ma noun suffix of result) + New Latin -ites -ite1
Related formsstal·ag·mit·ic [stal-uh g-mit-ik] /ˌstæl əgˈmɪt ɪk/, stal·ag·mit·i·cal, adjectivestal·ag·mit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedstalactite stalagmite
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stalagmites

Historical Examples of stalagmites

  • And when you talked to him about the stalagmites—was there anyone else with him at the time?

    The Four Pools Mystery

    Jean Webster

  • I will also exchange minerals for stalagmites, and a trilobite for a stalactite.

  • Those reaching up from the floor of the cave are stalagmites.

    Our Little Cuban Cousin

    Mary Hazelton Wade

  • Even the stalactites and stalagmites are overlaid with ornamentation.

  • The other stalagmites away out of reach are white and glistening.

British Dictionary definitions for stalagmites


  1. a cylindrical mass of calcium carbonate projecting upwards from the floor of a limestone cave: formed by precipitation from continually dripping waterCompare stalactite
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Derived Formsstalagmitic (ˌstæləɡˈmɪtɪk) or stalagmitical, adjective

Word Origin for stalagmite

C17: from New Latin stalagmites, from Greek stalagmos dripping; related to Greek stalassein to drip; compare stalactite
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

Word Origin and History for stalagmites



1680s, from Modern Latin stalagmites (Olaus Wormius), from Greek stalagmos "a dropping," or stalagma "a drop, drip," from stalassein "to trickle" (see stalactite).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stalagmites in Science


  1. A cylindrical or conical mineral deposit, similar to a stalactite but built up from the floor of a cave or cavern. Stalagmites are typically broader than stalactites. The two formations are often, but not always, paired, and they sometimes join at a midpoint to form a pillar. Compare stalactite.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

stalagmites in Culture



Rock structures that grow up from the floors of caves as water drips down and deposits minerals. (Compare stalactites.)

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Stalagmites grow very slowly.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.