Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to geologic periods that precede the appearance of life.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Destitute of any vestige of organic life, or at least of animal life; anterior to the existence of animal life; formed when there was no animal life on the globe; as, the azoic rocks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of any vestige of organic life, or at least of animal life; anterior to the existence of animal life; formed when there was no animal life on the globe. rocks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Destitute of organic life: in geology, applied to rocks which are destitute of any fossil remains or other evidence of the existence of life at the period of their deposition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. before the appearance of life

Etymologies

a- + -zoic (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Scientists long ago clung to the "azoic hypothesis" about the deep -- the presumption that nothing could possibly be alive so far from the photosynthetic world.

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  • Plutonic action would be very general, and volcanic mud, ash, and sand would be ejected and spread far and wide, which, sinking to the bottom of the water, may possibly be the origin of what we now designate the azoic or metamorphic slates and schists, as also the early Cambrian and Silurian strata.

    Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students

  • Had they determined to study the subject of life, as we have done, from the Bible as well as from nature, they would have commenced at these toad-producing rocks, and worked their way upward to the source of all life, and not downward to the vanishing point -- that where animal life ceases in the azoic rocks.

    Life: Its True Genesis

  • He has explored portions of that continent as far down as the azoic rocks, and made many important discoveries as to the past life of the globe.

    Life: Its True Genesis

  • The obelisks are all formed of granite, the foundation-stone of the globe, belonging to the oldest azoic formation, which laid down the first basis for the appearing of life.

    Roman Mosaics Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood

  • The problem belongs to the science of statistics, and it is a most difficult affair for anyone whose mathematics is primitive, and mine remain azoic in spite of the half dozen manuals which I once devoutly imagined that I understood.

    Public Opinion

  • What though it be only an azoic extract of intense potato, dimly tinct with sargasso and macaroni -- it has a pleasing warmth and bulk.

    Shandygaff

  • The presence of phosphatic nodules and bituminous matter, even in some of the lowest azoic rocks, probably indicates life at these periods; and the existence of the Eozo├Ân in the Laurentian formation of Canada is generally admitted.

    X. On the Imperfection of the Geological Record. On the Sudden Appearance of Groups of Allied Species in the Lowest Known Fossiliferous Strata

  • They imagined they could distinguish certain geological relations and families, and would talk about trilobites, the Old Red Sandstone period, and the azoic age, or follow random speculation to far-lying conclusions, developing vague humors of phrase and fancy, having altogether a joyful good time.

    Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete

  • The prose is frequently interchanged with verse, not by way of lyrical outbursts, but as a variation in the narrative method, after the manner of the Old French _cantefables_, such as "Aucassin et Nicolete"; but more exactly after the manner of the sagas, in which the azoic rock of Eddaic poetry crops out ever and anon under the prose strata.

    A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century

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