Definition of basalt in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A dark fine-grained volcanic rock that sometimes displays a columnar structure, typically composed largely of plagioclase with pyroxene and olivine.

    • ‘These are invariably volcanic rocks, including rhyolites, andesites, basalts, and their explosive equivalents, pyroclastic rocks.’
    • ‘In this interpretation, the Basic Complex consists of basalts, pillowed in places, and derived volcaniclastic rock together with background mudrock.’
    • ‘The Zeederbergs basalts are dominantly tholeiitic and compositionally akin to continental flood basalts.’
    • ‘On one face of the stone, a tablet of extremely hard black basalt, there is a long trilingual inscription; the three texts begin written one above other.’
    • ‘Gjuve basalts are generally more primitive and have a greater range of major element compositions than the Morgedal basalts.’
    • ‘With walls of black basalt and ice rising 300 metres on each side of the narrow channel, this impression - of cruising through a high mountain valley - is not far from the truth.’
    • ‘At ground level, a bistro and book shop have been elbowed aside to create a senselessly spacious foyer, floored in black basalt.’
    • ‘It seems unlikely that the final magma pressure would have been the maximum value of magma pressure reached during the intrusive episode, and so flood basalts probably were erupted.’
    • ‘Further east is Diyarbakir, a sultry place, where groups of Kurds lurk on the street corners and the black basalt of the walls and the cobbles fill the alleys with its funereal tones.’
    • ‘There are rare dykes with compositions similar to ocean-island basalts.’
    • ‘This implies that individual primitive magmas are more likely to represent the composition of their individual mantle sources than more fractionated basalts.’
    • ‘Some areas of this lava formation are highly mineralized, whereas other equally large areas are hard, solid black basalt without any minerals.’
    • ‘Some are made up of dense, black, homogeneous basalt, with no visible mineral grains.’
    • ‘Calcite is one of the frequently occurring minerals in cavities within the basalts of the Deccan trap rocks of Maharashtra State, India.’
    • ‘When wet, the basalt changes colour from silvery grey to gleaming black.’
    • ‘Further, it is a common vesicle-filling mineral in basalts.’
    • ‘Oceanic sediments on top of the basalts crop out on the northern margin of the ophiolite.’
    • ‘Further up section the geology is dominated by a succession of unmetamorphosed but strongly fractured and veined blocky andesites, basalts and tuffaceous rocks.’
    • ‘Thick sequences of basalts form the Morgedal and Gjuve formations and include series of sub-aerial lava flows.’
    • ‘Instead there was just a headstone of black basalt.’
    1. 1.1A kind of black stoneware developed by Josiah Wedgwood.
      • ‘If was used to imitate Josiah Wedgwood's rosso ant-leo and black basalt stoneware and was often decorated.’
      • ‘One of the leading glass makers of the early 19th century classical revival in Bohemia was Count Von Buquoy, who, in 1817, successfully produced an opaque black glass that resembled Josiah Wedgwood's black basalt stoneware.’
      • ‘Wedgwood's basalt, a hard, black, stone-like material known also as Egyptian ware or basaltes ware, was used for vases, candlesticks, and realistic busts of historical figures.’
      • ‘The fine-grained basalt stoneware reflected Wedgwood's Neoclassicism.’


Early 17th century (in the Latin form): from Latin basaltes (variant of basanites), from Greek basanitēs, from basanos touchstone.