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

  • n. A heat-hardened, compacted, red or pink clay stone used by Native American peoples for making tobacco pipes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hard, red clay used by Native Americans for making tobacco pipes

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of clay slate, carved by the Indians into tobacco pipes. Cf. catlinite.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as catlinite.
  • n. The cast-iron prism lying on the back-stone of a lead-ore hearth and containing an opening for the twyer.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Between here and the James river is the area where the Natives of all the nations in the West 'mined' the pipestone Catlinite or "pipestone", a form of red talc.

    Footnotes on the Lisa - Luttig Expedition, 1812

  • For some tribes, pipestone -- a reddish, claylike stone from which ceremonial pipes were carved -- is sacred; when they objected to its use for the floor of a performance space, the architects found a substitute.


  • Ginny had acquired several fine specimens, a jet buffalo, a pipestone buck sheep, a dolomite deer, a black marble fish, a serpentine snake ¦ She spread them on the block before the head.

    Operation Luna

  • When the song ended, we prayed again—a prayer for each direction, and a pinch of tobacco for each prayer, until the pipestone bowl was full.

    Coyote Medicine

  • Finishing, Marilyn placed the tobacco in the blood-colored pipestone bowl of her pipe.

    Coyote Medicine

  • Nelson took an incredibly long, beautiful pipe and touched the pipestone bowl to the stone.

    Coyote Medicine

  • On a dirt floor the color of pipestone the Roadman had spread a velvet cloth on which he placed a sheath of tobacco leaves, a leather bag, a whistle, a rattle, and a stack of corn husks and leaves.

    One River

  • The Woman's Club of Pipestone, Minn., showed specimens of pipestone and jasper belonging to group 116, class 682.

    Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

  • There were five large wall pieces of granite, one of Winona stone, one of pipestone, and one of Frontenac stone.

    Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

  • During the summer there were many tasks -- blue berries to be gathered in the woods, canoes to be built, tepees to be repaired, turnips to be dug, and pipestone to be brought from the far distant quarry.

    Old Fort Snelling 1819-1858


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

  • Catlinite, or pipestone, is a type of argillite (metamorphosed mudstone), usually brownish-red in color, which occurs in a matrix of Sioux quartzite. Because it is fine-grained and easily-worked, it is prized by Native Americans for use in making sacred pipes commonly referred to as peace pipes. Pipestone quarries are located and preserved in Pipestone National Monument in the southwest corner of Minnesota, and at the Pipestone River in Manitoba, Canada.

    The term Catlinite came into use after the American painter George Catlin visited the quarries in Minnesota in 1835; but it was Philander Prescott who first wrote about the rock in 1832, noting that evidence indicated that American Indians had been using the quarries since at least as far back as 1637.


    February 14, 2008