One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Also with capital initial. A person who attributes the origin of basalt and other crystalline rocks to volcanic action or to igneous processes in general (now historical); contrasted with "Neptunist". Also in extended use: a person who attributes certain features or phenomena (as craters or mass extinctions) to volcanoes.
2A person who studies volcanoes; a volcanologist. Now rare.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in The Critical Review. From volcan- + -ist, originally after French volcaniste.
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