Definition of pyroxene in US English:



  • Any of a large class of rock-forming silicate minerals, generally containing calcium, magnesium, and iron and typically occurring as prismatic crystals.

    • ‘This sample contains large plagioclase and pyroxene crystals, some of which have a sponge-like texture.’
    • ‘Extreme cases are found in mineral groups such as apatite, amphibole, pyroxene, feldspar, and tourmaline.’
    • ‘Chain silicates are called pyroxenes or inosilicates.’
    • ‘This is consistent with the fact that olivine is typically entrapped in pyroxene and amphibole crystals.’
    • ‘Therefore, pyroxene is the next mineral to start forming after olivine.’


Early 19th century: from pyro- ‘fire’ + Greek xenos ‘stranger’ (because the mineral group was supposed alien to igneous rocks).