One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hard, dark, glasslike volcanic rock formed by the rapid solidification of lava without crystallization.
- ‘Hard stones such as obsidian and rock crystal were added to the repertoire of the stone-vase maker.’
- ‘The presence of basalt and obsidian is a sign of volcanic activity and the instability of the earth's crust in this area.’
- ‘Obsidian looks like coal and while both are black, obsidian is shinier.’
- ‘Silent as stones like two black pillars carved from obsidian rock.’
- ‘The earliest mirrors were of obsidian, a black volcanic rock that could be carved and polished.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin obsidianus, error for obsianus, from Obsius, the name (in Pliny) of the discoverer of a similar stone.
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