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

  • n. Lava with a smooth ropy surface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of lava flow of basaltic rock, usually dark-colored with a smooth or ropey surface. It is one of two chief forms of lava flow emitted from volcanoes of the Hawaiian type, the other form being aa.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A name given in Hawaii (formerly the Sandwich Islands) to lava having a relatively smooth or billowing surface, in distinction from the rough-surfaced lava, called aa.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Compact lava. The spongy or rough lava is called a-a.

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

  • n. freely flowing lava


Hawaiian pāhoehoe : pā-, pref. + hoehoe, reduplication of hoe, to paddle (probably from the swirls on its surface).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hawaiian pāhoehoe. (Wiktionary)


  • From this grove we travelled as before in single file over an immense expanse of lava of the kind called pahoehoe, or satin rock, to distinguish it from the a-a, or jagged, rugged, impassable rock.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • We learned there are many types of lava: pahoehoe and aa both terms being Hawaiian, naturally, and referring to highly sculpted lava and to lava with jagged clinker on the top you shout "ah ah!" as you walk along the clinker in bare feet.


  • We had a delicious gallop over the sands to the Waiakea river, which we crossed, and came upon one of the vast lava-flows of ages since, over which we had to ride carefully, as the pahoehoe lies in rivers, coils, tortuosities, and holes partially concealed by a luxuriant growth of ferns and convolvuli.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Koloa Ridge to, and into the sea, a barren uneven surface of pahoehoe extends, often bulged up in immense bubbles, some of which have partially burst, leaving caverns, one of which, near the shore, is paved with the ancient coral reef!

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • But beyond this lie ten miles of pahoehoe, the lava-flows of ages, with only now and then the vestige of a trail.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Ahead and to the right were rolling miles of a pahoehoe sea, bounded by the unseen Pacific 3,000 feet below, with countless craters, fissures emitting vapour, and all other concomitants of volcanic action; bounded to the north by the vast crater of

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • For two hours before reaching the top, the way lies over countless flows and beds of lava, much disintegrated, and almost entirely of the kind called pahoehoe.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Professor Alexander, of Honolulu, supposes them to be from the beginning less fluid than pahoehoe, and that they advance very slowly, being full of solid points, or centres of cooling: that a-a, in fact, grains like sugar.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • A very frequent aspect of pahoehoe is the likeness on a magnificent scale of a thick coat of cream drawn in wrinkling folds to the side of a milk-pan.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • It is composed of rough hummocks of pahoehoe, rising out of a sandy desert.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.