Definition of catlinite in English:



mass noun
  • A red clay of the Upper Missouri region, the sacred pipestone of some North American Indian peoples.

    • ‘Such sourcing problems are not limited to chert; most midwestern archaeologists are familiar with the problems associated with identifying catlinite and flint clays.’
    • ‘Our preliminary work has shown it to be highly accurate in identifying such pipestones as catlinite, Sterling pipestone, and Missouri flint clay.’
    • ‘Also known as catlinite, this stone is used by Plains and other Indians to carve ceremonial pipes.’
    • ‘Nineteen pieces of red stone identified as possible Barron County pipestone or Minnesota catlinite were found at the Fred Edwards site in Grant County.’
    • ‘The site yielded a miniature elbow pipe of catlinite, as identified through X-ray diffraction by James Gundersen and Lillian Pollock.’


Mid 19th century: from the name of George Catlin (1796–1872), American artist, + -ite.