Basalt



the dark, dense igneous rock of a lava flow or minor intrusion, composed essentially of labradorite and pyroxene and often displaying a columnar structure.
Contemporary Examples

Somewhere in the basalt hills a lion roared, the sound carrying through the night until another responded.
Borana Joins the Fight to Save Kenya’s Rhinos…and Wants You to Help Too Joanna Eede February 17, 2014

Historical Examples

And everywhere rose up the towers, lost in the clouds, and the castle was like a city, built upon a lofty rock of basalt.
Psyche Louis Couperus

Many varieties of stone were used, but the preference was given to basalt.
The Railroad Question William Larrabee

The rocks consist chiefly of basalt, dolerite, melaphyre and felstone.
Volcanoes: Past and Present Edward Hull

Behold, my flesh is solid as basalt, my bones are bars of steel!
The Mummy’s Foot Thophile Gautier

There is near this rock a lower one of an oblong form, its sides fluted with pillars; these columnar masses are basalt.
Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 2 James Richardson

They had also said something about pot holes like shafts in the basalt.
The Beach of Dreams H. De Vere Stacpoole

He expressly states that basalt does not contain the slightest trace of animal or vegetable remains.
Ulster Folklore Elizabeth Andrews

Its form was that of a cube, 12 feet on each side, and it stood on a block of basalt.
In Search of the Castaways Jules Verne

Colonel Sykes does not, I believe, attempt to account for the stratification of the basalt; he merely describes it.
Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official William Sleeman

noun
a fine-grained dark basic igneous rock consisting of plagioclase feldspar, a pyroxene, and olivine: the most common volcanic rock and usually extrusive See flood basalt
a form of black unglazed pottery resembling basalt
n.

c.1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites “very hard stone,” from Greek basanites “a species of slate used to test gold,” from basanos “touchstone.” Not connected with salt. Said by Pliny [“Historia,” 36.58] to be an African word, perhaps Egyptian bauhan “slate.” Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. Hence Greek basanizein “to be put to the test, examined closely, cross-examined, to be put to torture.”
basalt
(bə-sôlt’, bā’sôlt’)
A dark, fine-grained, igneous rock consisting mostly of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene, and sometimes olivine. Basalt makes up most of the ocean floor and is the most common type of lava. It sometimes cools into characteristic hexagonal columns, as in the Giant’s Causeway in Anterim, Northern Island. It is the fine-grained equivalent of gabbro.
basalt [(buh-sawlt, bay-sawlt)]

A hard, dense igneous rock that makes up much of the material in tectonic plates. The part of the Earth’s crust beneath the oceans consists mainly of basalt whereas continental crust consists mainly of less dense rocks, such as granite. (See plate tectonics.)

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