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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A basalt flow can advance over a kilometre of flat ground in a matter of hours; an andesite may take months.
▪ Although anorthosite and basalt are the dominant rocks on the Moon, significant amounts of several other related rock types occur.
▪ Closed basins as deep as 135 feet were bitten out of the underlying basalt.
▪ Hot water poured out the tops of basalt pillars that normally stand as cold obelisks in the middle of drained-back lava ponds.
▪ Ocean island and continental flood basalt occurrences represent different expressions of plume activity.
▪ Small Jerichos plaster patches of basalt in the new flows of warm water.
▪ The wind gusts now and then, but the sun on the basalt is warm.
▪ There are beaches of rounded grey basalt pebbles of varying sizes elsewhere around the island.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Basalt \Ba*salt"\, n. [L. basaltes (an African word), a dark and hard species of marble found in Ethiopia: cf. F. basalte.]

  1. (Geol.) A rock of igneous origin, consisting of augite and triclinic feldspar, with grains of magnetic or titanic iron, and also bottle-green particles of olivine frequently disseminated.

    Note: It is usually of a greenish black color, or of some dull brown shade, or black. It constitutes immense beds in some regions, and also occurs in veins or dikes cutting through other rocks. It has often a prismatic structure as at the Giant's Causeway, in Ireland, where the columns are as regular as if the work of art. It is a very tough and heavy rock, and is one of the best materials for macadamizing roads.

  2. An imitation, in pottery, of natural basalt; a kind of black porcelain.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone," from Greek basanites "a species of slate used to test gold," from basanos "touchstone." Not connected with salt. Said by Pliny ["Historia," 36.58] to be an African word, perhaps Egyptian bauhan "slate." Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. Hence Greek basanizein "to be put to the test, examined closely, cross-examined, to be put to torture."


n. 1 (context mineral English) A hard mafic igneous rock of varied mineral content; volcanic in origin, it makes up much of the Earth's oceanic crust. 2 A type of unglazed pottery.


n. the commonest type of solidified lava; a dense dark gray fine-grained igneous rock composed chiefly of calcium-rich plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene

Basalt, CO -- U.S. town in Colorado
Population (2000): 2681
Housing Units (2000): 1218
Land area (2000): 1.922180 sq. miles (4.978423 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.018520 sq. miles (0.047967 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 1.940700 sq. miles (5.026390 sq. km)
FIPS code: 04935
Located within: Colorado (CO), FIPS 08
Location: 39.368382 N, 107.038263 W
ZIP Codes (1990): 81621
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.
Basalt, CO
Basalt, ID -- U.S. city in Idaho
Population (2000): 419
Housing Units (2000): 133
Land area (2000): 0.287416 sq. miles (0.744405 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 0.287416 sq. miles (0.744405 sq. km)
FIPS code: 05230
Located within: Idaho (ID), FIPS 16
Location: 43.314270 N, 112.163571 W
ZIP Codes (1990):
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.
Basalt, ID

Basalt (pronounced , , , or ) is a common extrusive igneous ( volcanic) rock formed from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava exposed at or very near the surface of a planet or moon. Flood basalt describes the formation in a series of lava basalt flows.

Basalt (disambiguation)

Basalt is a common extrusive igneous (volcanic) rock. In the Hadean, Archean, and early Proterozoic eras of Earth's history it is called Komatiite.

Basalt may also refer to:

Usage examples of "basalt".

These relics included an enclosure of coral blocks marking the outlines of a rectangular building which, Emory and Finney considered, showed similarities to some Tongan structures, and basalt adzes which must have come from a high volcanic island, since basalt does not occur naturally on low atolls.

Tuff is much softer than basalt and andesite, and over the years this exposed layer has eroded away, leaving us with our wonderful hotel.

Jago, one of the Azores, a horizontal, calcareous stratum occurs, containing shells of recent marine species, covered by a great sheet of basalt eighty feet thick.

Basically, a process called metamorphism caused the basalts in Shenandoah to recrystallize with new minerals, such as chlorite, epidote, and albite, which help give the rocks their greenish hue.

And when I saw that the reef was but the black basalt crown of a shocking eikon whose monstrous forehead now shown in the dim moonlight and whose vile hooves must paw the hellish ooze miles below, I shrieked and shrieked lest the hidden face rise above the waters, and lest the hidden eyes look at me after the slinking away of that leering and treacherous yellow moon.

At a height of a hundred feet rose the vaulted roof, supported on basalt shafts.

The basalt pillars, fitted one into the other, measured from forty to fifty feet in height, and the water, calm in spite of the tumult outside, washed their base.

Like labradorite and anorthite, it is a common constituent of basic igneous rocks, such as gabbro and basalt.

No doubt they represent the terrestrial life of the idolater whose body rests here, under my feet, at the bottom of a well, in a coffin of black basalt.

Just as the Azores are believed to be the last high peaks of Atlantis, so hints came to me steadily that Ponape and Lele and their basalt bulwarked islets were the last points of the slowly sunken western land clinging still to the sunlight, and had been the last refuge and sacred places of the rulers of that race which had lost their immemorial home under the rising waters of the Pacific.

The basalt cat, the pride of the home, its excretory stroll along the quai concluded, now whined for readmittance outside the door.

The sidewalks were masonry eighteen inches thick, sawn from the same black basalt as the rest of the castle.

I live I shall remember my first step on land--the whiff of drying stockfish from the shore, the black basalt rocks, the clumps of broad-leaved arch-angelica, and the oyster-catchers piping along the shingle.

On the teocalli Santiago stood like a statue of black basalt, facing the east, dagger held high--a wild and terrible sight, naked as he was save for a wide silken girdle and that inhuman mask on his face.

Is it all this broken-up breccia or is there, maybe, a big old finger of basalt sticking up that we could scramble right on down?