Find the word definition

Crossword clues for porphyry

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Porphyry \Por"phy*ry\, n.; pl. Porphyries. [F. porphyre, L. porphyrites, fr. Gr. ? like purple, fr. ? purple. See Purple.] (Geol.) A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting of a fine-grained base (usually feldspathic) through which crystals, as of feldspar or quartz, are disseminated. There are red, purple, and green varieties, which are highly esteemed as marbles.

Porphyry shell (Zo["o]l.), a handsome marine gastropod shell ( Oliva porphyria), having a dark red or brown polished surface, marked with light spots, like porphyry.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of ornamental stone, late 14c., porfurie, from Old French porfire, from Italian porfiro and in some cases directly from Latin porphyrites, a purple semi-precious stone quarried near the Red Sea in Egypt, from Greek porphyrites (lithos) "the purple (stone)," from porphyra (n.) "purple, purple dye" (see purple). Spelling Latinized mid-15c. Now used generally for a type of igneous rock without regard to color. Porphyrios was an ancient proper name.


n. 1 (context geology English) a hard igneous rock consisting of large crystals in a fine-grained matrix 2 # A purple-red rock of this kind.


n. any igneous rock with crystals embedded in a finer groundmass of minerals [syn: porphyritic rock]


Porphyry (; , Porphyrios "purple-clad") may refer to:

  • Porphyry (geology), an igneous rock with large crystals in a fine-grained matrix, or associated mineral deposit
    • Porphyry copper deposit, a primary (low grade) ore deposit of copper, consisting of porphyry rocks
    • Porphyritic, the general igneous texture of a rock with two distinct crystal (phenocryst) sizes
  • Porphyry (philosopher) (c. 234 – c. 305), a Neoplatonic philosopher
  • Porphyry of Gaza (or "St. Porphyry of Gaza"), Bishop of Gaza c. 347–420
  • Porphyry, a vineyard near Seaham, New South Wales
  • Porphyry, a system of astrological house division
  • Porphyry Island
Porphyry (geology)

Porphyry is a textural term for an igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals such as feldspar or quartz dispersed in a fine-grained feldspathic matrix or groundmass. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts. In its non-geologic, traditional use, the term porphyry refers to the purple-red form of this stone, valued for its appearance.

The term porphyry is from Greek (πορφύρα porphúra) and means " purple". Purple was the color of royalty, and the "imperial porphyry" was a deep purple igneous rock with large crystals of plagioclase. The rock is the hardest known in antiquity and was prized for monuments and building projects in Imperial Rome and later.

Subsequently, the name was given to any igneous rocks with large crystals. The adjective porphyritic now refers to a certain texture of igneous rock regardless of its chemical and mineralogical composition. Its chief characteristic is a large difference in size between the tiny matrix crystals and the much larger phenocrysts. Porphyries may be aphanites or phanerites, that is, the groundmass may have invisibly small crystals as in basalt, or crystals easily distinguishable with the eye, as in granite. Most types of igneous rocks display some degree of porphyritic texture.

Porphyry (philosopher)

Porphyry of Tyre (; , Porphyrios, Arabic: Furfūriyūs; c. 234 – c. 305 AD) was a Neoplatonic philosopher who was born in Tyre, in the Roman Empire. He edited and published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus. His commentary on Euclid's Elements was used as a source by Pappus of Alexandria.

He also wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics. His Isagoge, or Introduction, is an introduction to logic and philosophy, and in Latin translation it was the standard textbook on logic throughout the Middle Ages. In addition, through several of his works, most notably Philosophy from Oracles and Against the Christians, which was banned by emperor Constantine the Great, he was involved in a controversy with a number of early Christians.

Usage examples of "porphyry".

Yet we possess fragments in Lactantius, Augustine, Macarius Magnes and others, which attest how thoroughly Porphyry studied the Christian writings and how great his faculty was for true historical criticism.

Dust had stirred mustily beneath her bare feet, had coated the disused junk and dilapidated boxes piled between and among the pillars, and had fogged the distant glow of a yellow flame that she was following to its source, a little tallow-dip lamp burning beside the dark sweep of a red porphyry Stair.

Dust had stirred mustily beneath her bare feet, had coated the disused junk and dilapidated boxes piled between and among the pillars, and had fogged the distant glow of a yellow flame that she was following to its source, a little tallow-dip lamp burning beside the dark sweep of a red porphyry stair.

It was, says Porphyry, at this Solstitial New Moon, accompanied by the rising of Seth or the Dog-Star, that the beginning of the year was fixed, and that of the generation of all things, or, as it were, the natal hour of the world.

The Breas, which then had been navigable almost to its source in the foothills of the Rim Mountains, had been crowded with barges bringing slabs of land coral, porphyry, granite, marble and all kinds of precious stones for the construction of the tombs.

He climbed the thirty-five stairs of marble and porphyry leading up to the basilica, crossed the atrium, passed the center fountain surrounded by porphyry columns and stood at the base of the Carlovingian bell tower, aghast at the dilapidated condition of St.

Massive buildings were concocted with red-and-gray granite and alabaster, and purple-red porphyry from Egypt, black-and-yellow marble from Numidia, green cipollino from Eubold, and the white stones of the Carrara quarries near Luna.

The Ecuadorian volcanoes have rarely ejected liquid lava, but chiefly water, mud, ashes, and fragments of trachyte and porphyry.

Porphyry states Egyptians recognize as Gods the Stars of the Zodiac, 458-m.

Pantheon, composed of porphyry, pavonazzetto, and giallo antico, tho constantly overflowed by the Tiber, and drenched by the rains which fall upon it from the roof, is the finest in Rome.

Porphyry relates, attained to this ecstatic union with God four times during the six years he was with him.

The wharves of Baharna are of porphyry, and the city rises in great stone terraces behind them, having streets of steps that are frequently arched over by buildings and the bridges between buildings.

London and the entire facade was refaced in white Italian marble, with ornamented stringcourses in porphyry, and tasteful and extremely elegant bronze sphinxes were placed at the corners of the roof.

Hanna studied the floor, strips of marble and porphyry set into expanding and contracting spirals.

The first crystal sample to be analyzed properly, a blue porphyry type, proved, due to peculiarities of its composition, a marvelous optical storage device, allowing computers virtually instantaneous access to improbably large volumes of data stored in matrixes of exceptionally small dimensions.