Definition of tektite in English:



  • A small black glassy object found in numbers over certain areas of the earth's surface, believed to have been formed as molten debris in meteorite impacts and scattered widely through the air.

    • ‘Although type 1 Mg-smectite may be derived from tektitcs, or volcanic glass, there is strong evidence that the smectite spherules are of tektite origin.’
    • ‘And downstream of those areas there are tektites being found, but only one or two per county.’
    • ‘These bits of glass, called tektites, appear to be scattered across the entire region that the researchers examined, suggesting that much of the Pampean Plain is a vast tektite field.’
    • ‘Samples of sediment taken from the seafloor southeast of the crater, but not those obtained elsewhere around the crater, contain small mineral globules called tektites, one hallmark of an extraterrestrial impact.’
    • ‘Scientists estimate that the debris from the blast rose more than 30 miles into the air, spreading melted bits of sand and sediment including Georgia's tektites and the newly discovered layer of shocked quartz for thousands of miles.’


Early 20th century: coined in German from Greek tēktos ‘molten’ (from tēkein ‘melt’) + -ite.