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.
Related formsxen·o·lith·ic, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for xenolith



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

Word Origin and History for xenolith

1894, from xeno- "foreign, strange" + -lith "stone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science 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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