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

At this place the cliffs which overhang the southern bank presented a fine collection of basaltic columns.
Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume 28 Various

No doubt the basaltic mountains once formed the side of the fjord.
Across Iceland William Bisiker

The Marquesas Islands are small and, in contrast to the coral and basaltic formation of Tahiti, of volcanic origin.
Paul Gauguin, His Life and Art John Gould Fletcher

The walls of the outer Alban crater are of peperino, while those of the inner are basaltic.
Old Rome Robert Burn

Phonolithic or basaltic pebbles made me suppose that we were near to a change of country.
Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia Ludwig Leichhardt

On its outer edge it is fringed by a border of basaltic rocks.
The World and Its People: Book VII Anna B. Badlam

Immediately west of the watershed are two small plateaus covered with basaltic dbris, near el-Jish and Kades.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 4 Various

It is cut up by gullies of basaltic rock, escarpments of which appear everywhere in the hills.
The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont

Of such soils, the first to be considered are those of basaltic origin.
Fruits of Queensland Albert Benson

The animal remains found beneath the basaltic cap are very numerous, and all of extinct species.
Human Origins Samuel Laing

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

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.”
(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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  • Basanite

    a basaltic rock composed chiefly of plagioclase, olivine, and augite. Historical Examples basanite, bas′an-īt, n. a kind of quartz serviceable for testing the purity of the precious metals by the marks made. Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D) Various basanite is also known as Lydian stone or touchstone on account of its […]

  • Basc

    Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Bachelor of Applied Science. Bachelor of Agricultural Science Bachelor of Applied Science

  • Bascinet

    noun (armour) a variant spelling of basinet Historical Examples In the preceding chapter we noticed the method of attaching the camail to the bascinet. Armour & Weapons Charles John Ffoulkes The most popular of the light helmets at this period was the bascinet. Armour & Weapons Charles John Ffoulkes The above engraving represents a helmet, […]

  • Bascule

    a device operating like a balance or seesaw, especially an arrangement of a movable bridge (bascule bridge) by which the rising floor or section is counterbalanced by a weight. Historical Examples The assistants seized the condemned man, and pushed him on to the bascule. Fantmas Pierre Souvestre bascule, bas′kūl, n. an apparatus of the lever […]

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