[ trav-er-teen, -tin ]

  1. a form of limestone deposited by springs, especially hot springs, used in Italy for building.

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Origin of travertine

1545–55; <Italian travertino, equivalent to tra- across (<Latin trāns-trans-) + (ti)vertino<Latin Tīburtīnus, equivalent to Tīburt- (stem of Tīburs) the territory of Tibur (see Tivoli) + -īnus-ine1
  • Also trav·er·tin [trav-er-tin]. /ˈtræv ər tɪn/.

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

How to use travertine in a sentence

  • While the deposits here are chiefly lime or travertine, those of the geysers and of the other hot springs are silica.

    Your National Parks | Enos A. Mills
  • The immense travertine columns of the faade form part of a portico which is over two hundred feet in length.

    Cathedral Cities of Italy | William Wiehe Collins
  • The pavement of the square, on which you may still walk, was of travertine.

    The Wonders of Pompeii | Marc Monnier

British Dictionary definitions for travertine



/ (ˈtrævətɪn) /

  1. a porous rock consisting of calcium carbonate, used for building: Also called: calc-sinter

Origin of travertine

C18: from Italian travertino (influenced by tra- trans-), from Latin lapis Tīburtīnus Tiburtine stone, from Tīburs the district around Tibur (now Tivoli)

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 travertine


[ trăvər-tēn′, -tĭn ]

  1. A white, tan, or cream-colored form of limestone, often having a fibrous or concentric appearance. Travertine is formed through the rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, especially at the mouth of a hot spring or in limestone caves, where it forms stalactites and stalagmites. It is similar to but harder than tufa.

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