noun Geology.

an irregular columnar structure in certain limestones, the columns being approximately at right angles to the bedding planes.

Origin of stylolite

First recorded in 1865–70; stylo-2 + -lite
Related formssty·lo·lit·ic [stahy-luh-lit-ik] /ˌstaɪ ləˈlɪt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for stylolite



any of the small striated columnar or irregular structures within the strata of some limestones
Derived Formsstylolitic (ˌstaɪləˈlɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for stylolite

C19: from Greek stulos pillar + -lite
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

stylolite in Science



A contact surface usually found between two calcareous rock layers, marked by a series of jagged interlocking up-and-down projections that resemble a suture or the tracing of a stylus. Stylolites are found in rocks that have been subjected to pressure and are formed by a process, called pressure dissolution, whereby insoluble material, such as clay and hydrocarbons, becomes concentrated along a surface while other more soluble material, such as calcite, is carried away.
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