from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Rock containing relatively large conspicuous crystals, especially feldspar, in a fine-grained igneous matrix.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a hard igneous rock consisting of large crystals in a fine-grained matrix
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The English form of the Latin word porphyrites, used by the Romans to designate a certain rock having a dark-crimson ground through which are scattered small crystals of feldspar.
- n. A slab of porphyry, used in alchemy.
- n. In zoology, a porphyry-moth.
- n. In ceramics, a hard colored body made by Josiah Wedgwood, in imitation of porphyry.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any igneous rock with crystals embedded in a finer groundmass of minerals
Middle English porphiri, porfurie, from Old French porfire, from Italian porfiro, from Medieval Latin porphyrium, from Latin porphyrītēs, from Greek porphurītēs, from porphurā, shellfish yielding purple dye, purple (from its color).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)