Definitions

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

  • n. An icicle-shaped mineral deposit, usually calcite or aragonite, hanging from the roof of a cavern, formed from the dripping of mineral-rich water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mineral deposit of calcium carbonate, in shapes similar to icicles, that hangs from the roof of a cave.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pendent cone or cylinder of calcium carbonate resembling an icicle in form and mode of attachment. Stalactites are found depending from the roof or sides of caverns, and are produced by deposition from waters which have percolated through, and partially dissolved, the overlying limestone rocks.
  • n. In an extended sense, any mineral or rock of similar form and origin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A deposit of carbonate of lime, usually resembling in form a huge icicle, which hangs from the roof of a cave or subterranean rock-opening, where it has been slowly formed by deposition from calcareous water trickling downward through cracks or openings in the rocks above.
  • n. A similar form of some other mineral species, such as are occasionally observed, for example, of chalcedony, limonite, etc., but only sparingly and on a small scale.
  • n. A like form of lava sometimes observed in connection with volcanic outflows.
  • n. In decorative architecture of certain schools, a pendent ornament with sharp edges and generally one of many in a group.

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

  • n. a cylinder of calcium carbonate hanging from the roof of a limestone cave

Etymologies

New Latin stalactītēs, from Greek stalaktos, dripping, from stalassein, stalak-, to drip.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek σταλακτός (stalaktos, "dripping"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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