noun Geology.
  1. any of several kinds of small glassy bodies, in various forms, occurring in Australia and elsewhere, now believed to have been produced by the impact of meteorites on the earth's surface.

Origin of tektite

1920–25; < Greek tēkt(ós) molten + -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tektite


  1. a small dark glassy object found in several areas around the world, thought to be a product of meteorite impactSee also moldavite

Word Origin for tektite

C20: from Greek tēktos molten
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 tektite

small roundish glass bodies, probably of meteoric origin, 1909, from German tektit (1900), from Greek tektos "molten," from tekein "to melt."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tektite in Science


  1. Any of numerous dark-brown to green glassy objects, usually small (about the size of a walnut) and round with pitted surfaces. Tektites consist primarily (65% to 90%) of silica and have a very low water content. They are found in groups in several widely separated parts of the world and bear no relation to surrounding geologic formations. Some have shapes that show the kind of melting and deformation typical of objects that fall through the Earth's atmosphere. Tektites are believed to be of extraterrestrial origin or to have formed during high-velocity impacts on terrestrial rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.