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

  • n. A light-colored volcanic rock composed largely of feldspars.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a light-coloured rock of volcanic origin composed mostly of alkali feldspars

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A compact, feldspathic, igneous rock containing nephelite, haüynite, etc. Thin slabs give a ringing sound when struck; -- called also clinkstone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name given by Klaproth to certain volcanic rocks of exceedingly variable and complex character, but closely related to the trachytes.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But they had also discovered a fine-grained green lava called phonolite twelve miles away near the small volcano of Engelosen.

    Ancestral Passions

  • Fashioned from fine-grained, green volcanic lava called phonolite, this is one of the best surviving examples of the hand-held cutting tools which were first made in Olduvai Gorge about

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  • I found a mass of crystals of the greenish volcanic glass, called olivine, imbedded in a piece of phonolite which looked as blue and fresh as if only quarried yesterday.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • They argue, from the amount of the chippings, that this mass of phonolite was quarried for ages by countless generations of men, and that the mountain top must have been upheaved, and the island inhabited, in a very remote past.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • The central mountain of this island is built of a heavy ferruginous basalt, but the shore ridges contain less iron, are more porous, and vary in their structure from a compact phonolite, to a ponderous basalt.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Not far off is a cave, a lava-bubble, in which the natives used to live when they came up here to quarry a very hard adjacent phonolite for their axes and other tools.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • For miles and miles, above and around, great billowy masses, tossed and twisted into an infinity of fantastic shapes, arrest and weary the eye, lava in all its forms, from a compact phonolite, to the lightest pumice stone, the mere froth of the volcano, exceeding in wildness and confusion the most extravagant nightmare ever inflicted on man.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • The rock is phonolite, and is divided into irregular columns.

    Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by H.M.S. Beagle

  • To make a sharp-edged implement from the fine-grained phonolite required a great deal of work, whereas a basalt handaxe could be turned out in less than a minute.

    Ancestral Passions

  • In one of these horizons, almost all of the handaxes and cleavers some 75 percent of the tools had been made from large pieces of fine-grained green phonolite, a lava that Mary and Richard Hay traced to the small volcano Engelosen, about eight miles away on the Serengeti Plain.

    Ancestral Passions


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