Definition of igneous in English:



  • 1(of rock) having solidified from lava or magma.

    • ‘Major crustal rifting has also played a part in the evolution of large bodies of Proterozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks.’
    • ‘The prevalence of Late Jurassic subduction-related igneous rocks indicates that arc formation and accretion orogeny were the most important processes during the evolution of this part of the Internal Hellenides.’
    • ‘This heat gradually accumulates and eventually causes localized eruptions of basaltic magmas (molten igneous rock).’
    • ‘Below the lowest sheet of largely coherent mafic igneous rocks is the Phyllite-Quartzite Group, a sequence of turbidites and black mudrocks.’
    • ‘The occurrence of these felsic extrusive igneous rocks potentially provides key information on the complex interplay of magmatism and tectonics.’
    1. 1.1Relating to or involving volcanic processes.
      ‘igneous activity’
      • ‘By the Early Devonian the Iapetus Ocean had closed and was replaced in northern Britain by an essentially transtensional regime with sinistral shearing, and accompanied by major igneous activity.’
      • ‘On Macquarie Island there's very similar kind of geology, as I'm sure Rick has described; we have mantle rocks and evidence of punctuated deformation events in igneous activity.’
      • ‘However, enormous emphasis has been placed on them for understanding igneous processes and the evolution of Earth.’
      • ‘The layering in these ultramafic rocks, and their position above mantle tectonites, is attributed to lower crustal igneous processes.’
      • ‘Rhyme, in particular, lay on a major NE-trending fault and local igneous activity may have provided the energy to sustain the hot springs.’
    2. 1.2rare Of fire; fiery.
      • ‘It is an igneous or fiery aura, not indeed in the open act of combustion, but composed of the finest and most minute particles of a peculiar species of elementary fire.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin igneus (from ignis fire) + -ous.