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A dark-gray to black, fine-textured igneous rock composed mainly of feldspar and pyroxene and used for monuments and as crushed stone.
[From French diabase, originally meaning "diorite," (now "basalt or gabbro lightly modified by metamorphism"), coined by French mineralogist Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847), probably from Greek diabasis, a crossing over (from diabainein, to pass through or over; see diabetes; the rock being so called because it is often found as intrusive sills and dikes in other rocks), or perhaps an alteration of an intended French *dibase (di-, two, from Greek di-; see di-1 + base, basis, from Old French; see base1; the rock being so called in reference to feldspar and amphibole, two important constituent minerals of diorite).]
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.
1. (Geological Science) Brit an altered dolerite
2. (Geological Science) US another name for dolerite
[C19: from French, from Greek diabasis a crossing over, from diabainein to cross over, from dia- + bainein to go]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a fine-grained gabbro occurring as minor intrusions.
[1830–40; < French, =dia- (error for di- two) + base base1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.