Definitions

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

  • n. See soapstone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. soapstone

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A massive variety of talc, of a grayish green or brown color. It forms extensive beds, and is quarried for fireplaces and for coarse utensils. Called also potstone, lard stone, and soapstone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Soapstone: an impure massive variety of talc. Also called potstone.
  • n. A gem or seal, cut in steatite.

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

  • n. a soft heavy compact variety of talc having a soapy feel; used to make hearths and tabletops and ornaments

Etymologies

Latin steatītis, a precious stone, from Greek, from stear, steat-, tallow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Solid forms of talc are known as steatite or soapstone.

    Chapter 9

  • Sand is commonly met with at the depth of three or four fathoms, and beneath this a stratum of napal or steatite, which is considered as a sign that the metal is near; but the least fallible mark is a red stone, called batu kawi, lying in detached pieces.

    The History of Sumatra Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And Manners Of The Native Inhabitants

  • The rivers, plains, and nearby mountains offered abundant wild animals, fish, and timber, and raw materials such as steatite (talc) and copper.

    Birth of a Civilization

  • Visitors may recognize other hallmark Minoan artifacts in the show: clay tablets inscribed with the still-undeciphered Linear A writing, a bull's head rhyton carved from chlorite with gilded horns, and the "Chieftain's Cup," a carved steatite conical cup with processional scene (see photo gallery).

    Minoans in Manhattan

  • And here, yielding to an irresistible impulse, I wrote my name upon the nose of a steatite monster from

    The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells

  • The bowl was of soft stone, apparently steatite, which, when fresh, is easily fashioned with a knife.

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

  • Also of Egyptian manufacture is the beautiful glazed steatite scarab inscribed with a knot design typical of the late Middle Kingdom (mid to late Dynasty 13) unearthed on the very first day of the 2001 excavations.

    Interactive Dig Hierakonpolis - Nubians at Hierakonpolis

  • Nearby excavations have also yielded some noteworthy finds: a terra-cotta house model probably used as a bird cage and a two-by-two-inch steatite Harappan Phase seal carved with a unicorn motif and 13 script signs.

    Early Indus Script

  • Alabaster bowls, more than a dozen steatite vessels, and fragments of ostrich eggshell containers were also found.

    Arabian Hoard

  • In addition to a Bronze Age steatite seal, schist reliefs, and stucco heads, this donation included four fragments of a large Bronze Age silver bowl combining Indian and Mesopotamian stylistic characteristics in depicting a frieze of bulls.

    Museum Under Siege: Full Text

Comments

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  • "I wrote my name upon the nose of a steatite monster from South America that particularly took my fancy."

    - Wells, The Time Machine

    June 5, 2008