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[lah-vuh, lav-uh] /ˈlɑ və, ˈlæv ə/

the molten, fluid rock that issues from a volcano or volcanic vent.
the rock formed when this solidifies, occurring in many varieties differing greatly in structure and constitution.
magma emanating from volcanoes and other vents
any extrusive igneous rock formed by the cooling and solidification of molten lava

1750, from Italian (Neapolitan or Calabrian dialect) lava “torrent, stream,” traditionally from Latin lavare “to wash” (see lave). Originally applied in Italian to flash flood rivulets after downpours, then to streams of molten rock from Vesuvius. Alternative etymology is from Latin labes “a fall,” from labi “to fall.” Lava lamp is attested from 1965, also lava light (reg. U.S., 1968, as Lava Lite).

A type of igneous rock that is formed when molten magma from a volcano hardens.

Related Terms

in a lather

A language for VLSI that deals with “sticks”, i.e. wires represented as lines with thickness.
[“A Target Language for Silicon Compilers”, R.J. Matthews et al, IEEE COMPCON, 1982, pp. 349-353].


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