Definitions

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

  • n. A basic rock whose pockmarked appearance is caused by the presence of numerous white, rounded, embedded spherules.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of diorite or diabase with embedded whitish spherules, which give the rock a spotted appearance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of diorite or diabase containing imbedded whitish spherules, which give the rock a spotted appearance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rock in which there is a more or less distinctly concretionary arrangement, giving rise to pustular or pea-like forms which are disseminated through a finely crystalline ground-mass, and which, from their resemblance as seen on weathered surfaces to smallpox-pustules, have for hundreds of years made this rock an object of curiosity.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin varius various + -lite: compare French variolite.

Examples

  • In the Little Crau, the mouth of the Durance, are found prodigious numbers of green and crystalline rocks, granite and variolite brought down from the Alps of Briançon, but nine-tenths of the pebbles of the Great Crau are white quartz brought from the great chain of the Alps, together with mica-slate and calcareous stones, and only a few of the variolites of Mont Genèvre.

    In Troubadour-Land A Ramble in Provence and Languedoc

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