Definitions for obsidianəbˈsɪd i ən

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word obsidian

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ob•sid•i•anəbˈsɪd i ən(n.)

  1. a volcanic glass similar in composition to granite, usu. dark but transparent in thin pieces, and having a good conchoidal fracture.

    Category: Petrology

Origin of obsidian:

1790–1800; < L Obsidiānus, printer's error for Obsiānus pertaining to Obsius, the discoverer (according to Pliny) of a similar mineral in Ethiopia; cf. ME obsianus < L; see -an1

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obsidian(noun)

    acid or granitic glass formed by the rapid cooling of lava without crystallization; usually dark, but transparent in thin pieces


  1. obsidian(Noun)

    a type of black glass produced by volcanos

  2. obsidian(Adjective)


Webster Dictionary

  1. Obsidian(noun)

    a kind of glass produced by volcanoes. It is usually of a black color, and opaque, except in thin splinters


  1. Obsidian

    Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth. Obsidian is commonly found within the margins of rhyolitic lava flows known as obsidian flows, where the chemical composition induces a high viscosity and polymerization degree of the lava. The inhibition of atomic diffusion through this highly viscous and polymerized lava explains the lack of crystal growth. Obsidian is hard and brittle; it therefore fractures with very sharp edges, which had been used in the past in cutting and piercing tools, and has been used experimentally as surgical scalpel blades.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Obsidian

    a hard, dark-coloured rock of a glassy structure found in lava, which breaks with conchoidal fracture.

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