Definition of fulgurite in US English:



  • 1Vitreous material formed of sand or other sediment fused by lightning.

    • ‘Armed with rock hammers and shovels, the three geologists began excavating the fulgurite, unaware that what they would eventually uncover would rival the largest fulgurites ever documented.’
    • ‘At the discovery outcrop, the black glass-lined effusion crater with its glassy tendrils marks the transition from subterranean fulgurite tubes to exogenic styles of formation.’
    • ‘Perhaps once this class of exogenic fulgurite becomes better known, a greater number or variety of occurrences will be recognized instead of overlooked.’
    • ‘Although the fulgurite has not been completely excavated, the distribution of the branching tubes is dominantly elongate instead of presenting a semiradial dendritic form of energy dissipation known as a lichtenberg pattern.’
    • ‘The clay-soil class of fulgurite, recently discovered in the eastern gold fields of Western Australia, was described as subaerial irregular masses of black glass hosted by clayey soil.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of fulgurite.
      • ‘After thunderstorms on the Florida coasts beach combers find fulgurite in the sands.’
      • ‘Without actually seeing the specimen I'd have to say that it does sound like you have a fulgurite.’
      • ‘A 10-foot fulgurite is being prepared for display in the lobby of UF's new engineering building.’
      • ‘Most people have never seen a fulgurite, and many that have probably did not realize what it was at the time.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin fulgur ‘lightning’ + -ite.