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 (bə-sôlt′, bā′sôlt′)
1. A hard, dense, dark igneous rock composed chiefly of plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine, and often having a glassy appearance.
2. A kind of hard unglazed pottery.

[From New Latin basaltēn, a misreading (in manuscripts of Pliny) of Latin basanītēn, accusative of basanītēs, a word Pliny uses of several kinds of rock, including a hard ironlike rock that the Egyptians obtained in Ethiopia, from Greek basanītēs (lithos), touchstone : basanos, touchstone (ultimately (perhaps via Lydian) from Egyptian bḫn, graywacke) + -ītēs, adjectival suffix.]

ba·sal′tic (-sôl′tĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.basaltic - of or relating to or containing basalt; "basaltic magma is fluid"
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