[ zen-l-ith ]
/ ˈzɛn l ɪθ /

noun Petrography.

a rock fragment foreign to the igneous rock in which it is embedded.

Origin of xenolith

First recorded in 1900–05; xeno- + -lith
Also called inclusion.


xen·o·lith·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for xenolith

/ (ˈzɛnəlɪθ) /


a fragment of rock differing in origin, composition, structure, etc, from the igneous rock enclosing it

Derived forms of xenolith

xenolithic, adjective
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 xenolith

[ zĕnə-lĭth′, zēnə- ]

A rock fragment foreign to the igneous mass in which it occurs. Xenoliths usually become incorporated into a cooling magma body when pieces of the rock into which the magma was injected break off and fall into it. Compare xenocryst.
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