Definition of laterite in English:



  • 1A reddish clayey material, hard when dry, forming a topsoil in some tropical or subtropical regions and sometimes used for building.

    • ‘Wild creepers burst through laterite banks and spills across the flooded roads.’
    • ‘In 1992, a bulldozer was engaged for over three months for developing the nine-acre laterite quarry into land suited for cultivation.’
    • ‘On the other hand, laterite stone take very little, sometimes no cement and sand to build and last almost forever.’
    • ‘The laterite soil types of the nutritionally impoverished farmlands in the arid and semi-arid regions do not have the capacity to hold moisture.’
    • ‘Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, the network was never discovered.’
    • ‘Yellow and red pigments are made from soft laterite.’
    • ‘There were numerous potential dangers to be avoided on this laterite track, and thick dust reduced visibility considerably.’
    • ‘These roads all had crushed laterite surfaces, but none were reliable for year-round travel, primarily because of flooding during the rainy season.’
    • ‘Check whether your building or part of it is constructed with any of the traditional building materials like lime, laterite, granite, wood, mud or the like.’
    • ‘Freshly hewn laterite blocks lay piled up one side of the courtyard.’
    • ‘Since the painting was done on a wall of laterite stones and lime, it could not be saved from the damage brought about by the passage of time.’
    • ‘About 40 m in from the moat is a laterite wall, 4.5 m high, with large single entrances from the east, north, and south, and five entrances on the west.’
    • ‘A scarlet, stony wasteland of laterite soil stretches in all directions under a silver sky - an unearthly sort of beauty.’
    • ‘The Sinda community will be required to contribute 25 per cent towards the project, and this will come in the form of crushed stones, river and building sand, laterite and pan bricks.’
    • ‘The suitable land to dig rain pit is midland area, which is made up of laterite soil.’
    • ‘Returning to the reception building we walked up a laterite path to the raised and open - sided restaurant giving horizon-spanning views of wooded hills.’
    • ‘The effect of erosion on the shore temple has been debilitating and the problem has been compounded by the soft laterite rock, which has been used in the construction.’
    • ‘The stripes represent the three major geographic areas: green for the rain forest, red for the laterite soils of the savanna, and yellow for the sands of the sahel.’
    • ‘The base colours yellow and Indian red are prepared from soft laterite while blue is made from the juice of indigo leaves and black from lamp-black.’
    • ‘In southern Yunnan province the river is a rich orange-red as it runs through the surrounding laterite hills.’
    1. 1.1Geology A clayey soil horizon rich in iron and aluminum oxides, formed by weathering of igneous rocks in moist warm climates.
      • ‘The climate and topography of the region in which laterite formation occurs will control the grade of ore produced.’
      • ‘A major source of iron, called iron laterite, is a type of residual deposit generated by the intense weathering of iron-rich rocks such as mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks.’
      • ‘Similar sediments, overlying a laterite soil and an associated silcrete horizon, are known from the Sidmouth area.’
      • ‘The rock that composed the hillside had once been schist, but now, after millions of years of alteration, it had been converted to a dense, hard red clay called laterite.’
      • ‘Nuggets in laterite can be either reddish or black; nuggets in quartz appear cloaked with white.’


Early 19th century: from Latin later ‘brick’ + -ite.