[ stahy-luh-lahyt ]
/ ˈstaɪ ləˌlaɪt /

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 forms

sty·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


/ (ˈstaɪləˌlaɪt) /


any of the small striated columnar or irregular structures within the strata of some limestones

Derived Forms

stylolitic (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

Science definitions for stylolite


[ stīlə-līt′ ]

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