Definitions

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

  • n. A hard, dense, dark volcanic rock composed chiefly of plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine, and often having a glassy appearance.
  • n. A kind of hard unglazed pottery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A volcanic rock occurring widely, and consisting of a triclinic feldspar, together with augite and magnetite or titaniferous iron.
  • n. Proposed as a field term, in petrography, for all dark-colored aphanitie, nonporphyritic (aphyric), igneous rocks.

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

  • n. the commonest type of solidified lava; a dense dark grey fine-grained igneous rock that is composed chiefly of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene

Etymologies

Latin basaltēs, alteration of basanītēs, touchstone, from Greek basanītēs (lithos), from basanos, of Egyptian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin basaltes, a misspelling of Latin basanites, from Ancient Greek βασανίτης (basanitēs), from βάσανος (basanos, "touchstone"), from Egyptian (Wiktionary)

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