One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Mineralogy. A copper mineral found in amorphous green masses, now known to be a mixture consisting mainly of pseudomalachite. Now rare or disused.
2Geology. Chiefly in plural An organosedimentary structure composed of aggregated lumps of calcareous material produced by the trapping, binding, or precipitation of sediment by cyanobacteria and other microorganisms.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in James Dana (1813–1895), geologist, zoologist, and teacher. From ancient Greek θρόμβος lump, clot of blood, curd of milk + -lite, in sense 1 after German Thrombolith (Breithaupt, 1838).
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