Definition of olivine in English:



mass noun
  • An olive-green, grey-green, or brown mineral occurring widely in basalt, peridotite, and other basic igneous rocks. It is a silicate containing varying proportions of magnesium, iron, and other elements.

    • ‘All basalt chemical compositions can be plotted in the basalt tetrahedron, which has normative quartz, olivine, nepheline and augite at the apices.’
    • ‘The volcanics were described by Aghabawa as alkaline basalts, hawaiites and mugearites with plagioclase, olivine and augite as the essential constituents.’
    • ‘Gem-quality olivine (magnesium iron silicate), known as peridot, is an oily olive-green colour.’
    • ‘Other associated minerals include olivine (commonly altered to serpentine), phlogopite, enstatite, and many other trace accessory minerals.’
    • ‘Observations by Spirit show the rock contains significant amounts of the minerals olivine, pyroxene and magnetite, all of which are common in some types of volcanic rock.’
    • ‘They contain olivine, clinopyroxene, plagioclase, analcite, ulvospinel and apatite + / - biotite + / - calcite.’
    • ‘Second, in a process known as differentiation, crystals of olivine, clinopyroxene, and plagioclase began to crystallize from the magma, and being more dense than the magma, they settled to the bottom of the chamber.’
    • ‘Fractionation of ferromagnesian phases such as olivine, pyroxene and magnetite must have taken place during magma emplacement, as is suggested by the low Co abundance.’
    • ‘They typically comprise early olivine and plagioclase, ophitically enclosed by augite, with opaque oxides and apatite.’
    • ‘The crustal differentiation processes were dominated by fractionation of olivine, chrome spinel, plagioclase and clinopyroxene, leading to evolved compositions.’
    • ‘The magmatic evolution is dominated by low-pressure crystal fractionation of olivine, Cr-spinel, plagioclase and clinopyroxene.’
    • ‘Serpentine is a secondary mineral, a magnesian silicate, formed from minerals such as olivine and orthopyroxene.’
    • ‘They are basaltic flows rich in zeolites and phenocrysts (plagioclase, olivine and pyroxene), and intercalated with strombolian and phreatomagmatic deposits.’
    • ‘This flow consists of about 30 percent plagioclase, clinopyroxene, and olivine, as small phenocrysts.’
    • ‘Thus the order of phenocryst appearance in Kilauea lavas is olivine, plagioclase, augite whereas in Mauna Loa lavas it is olivine, augite, plagioclase.’
    • ‘Major mineral phases include plagioclase and pyroxene, with small amounts of opaque minerals, olivine, apatite, and sometimes biotite.’
    • ‘The Herbeira websterites contain diopside, enstatite, and pargasite with olivine, garnet, spinel, magnetite and ilmenite as minor phases.’
    • ‘The most common phenocryst silicate phases are olivine, plagioclase and augite, typically, although not always, appearing in that order.’
    • ‘Here, olivine (peridot when gemmy) grains or anhedral crystals weather out of basaltic lava.’
    • ‘Basalt is a fine-grained igneous rock that is primarily composed of the iron- and magnesium-rich minerals pyroxene and olivine and calcium-rich plagioclase feldspar.’


Late 18th century: from Latin oliva (see olive) + -ine.