Definition of pelite in English:



  • A sediment or sedimentary rock composed of very fine clay or mud particles.

    ‘the Eastern Cordillera comprises pelites of pre-Ordovician age’
    • ‘In most successions of metamorphic rocks, those with reactive lithologies, such as mature pelites, make up only a small proportion of the rock mass.’
    • ‘A variety of sedimentary lithologies have been metamorphosed including pelites, psammites, quartzites and carbonates.’
    • ‘There is no evidence for the superimposition of two entirely separate high-grade metamorphic regimes either in the calc-silicate rocks or in the associated pelites.’
    • ‘Foliations vary from grain-shape fabrics in quartzites and psammites, to a dominant crenulation cleavage in pelites, with intermediate rocks showing folded cleavage within a bed, and sometimes two cross-cutting cleavages.’
    • ‘The latter sediments are covered by pelites and sandstones carrying marine invertebrate fossils and deltaic facies with a Glossopteris flora, which indicates an Early Permian age.’


Late 19th century: from Greek pēlos clay, mud + -ite.