Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Molten rock that reaches the earth's surface through a volcano or fissure.
  • noun The rock formed by the cooling and solidifying of molten rock.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Molten rock which issues from a volcano during an eruption; the same when cooled and hardened.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The melted rock ejected by a volcano from its top or fissured sides. It flows out in streams sometimes miles in length. It also issues from fissures in the earth's surface, and forms beds covering many square miles, as in the Northwestern United States.
  • noun a hard and coarse basaltic millstone from the neighborhood of the Rhine.
  • noun a kind of cheap pottery made of iron slag cast into tiles, urns, table tops, etc., resembling lava in appearance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The melted rock ejected by a volcano from its crater or fissured sides.
  • noun informal, proscribed Magma.

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

  • noun rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos; lava is what magma is called when it reaches the surface

Etymologies

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

[Italian, perhaps from Latin lābēs, fall, from Latin lābī, to fall.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian lava ("lava"), originally, in Naples, a torrent of rain overflowing the streets, from lavare ("to wash"). See etymology for the English verb lave.

Examples

  • I stood and watched the most brilliant display of aurora I had ever seen, shooting over the mountain tops in the east like lava from a volcano, writhing overhead to the opposite horizon, snaking into crowns and shooting towards the ground like harpoons of light.

    A Conversation with Lucy Jago, author of The Northern Lights

  • They had been down to the Balesuna making an alligator trap, and, instead of trousers, were clad in lava-lavas that flapped gracefully about their stalwart limbs.

    Chapter 8

  • “So I have to get to the bathroom without stepping on the floor, because it is covered in lava and alligators?”

    s play hooky

  • Scientists are also baffled by the fact that this particular type of basaltic lava is only known to exist in Iceland.

    365 tomorrows » featured writer : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • The volcano Paricutín (the youngest in America, and the only one whose birth was witnessed by a living human), surrounded almost entirely by lava, is a paradise for those who love hikes amid the sandy banks and lava fields left by the 1943 eruption.

    Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacán

  • The volcano Paricutín (the youngest in America, and the only one whose birth was witnessed by a living human), surrounded almost entirely by lava, is a paradise for those who love hikes amid the sandy banks and lava fields left by the 1943 eruption.

    Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacán

  • The volcano Paricutín (the youngest in America, and the only one whose birth was witnessed by a living human), surrounded almost entirely by lava, is a paradise for those who love hikes amid the sandy banks and lava fields left by the 1943 eruption.

    Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacán

  • The volcano Paricutín (the youngest in America, and the only one whose birth was witnessed by a living human), surrounded almost entirely by lava, is a paradise for those who love hikes amid the sandy banks and lava fields left by the 1943 eruption.

    Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacán

  • Some fine Specimens of lava from a partially active Volcano in the province of [gap word illegible], in the extreme north of Japan.

    Letter to Dr. Thomas from Young John AllenNov 19 1866

  • The volcano Paricutín (the youngest in America, and the only one whose birth was witnessed by a living human), surrounded almost entirely by lava, is a paradise for those who love hikes amid the sandy banks and lava fields left by the 1943 eruption.

    Guide to alternative tourism in Michoacán

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