acid or granitic glass formed by the rapid cooling of lava without crystallization; usually dark, but transparent in thin pieces
a type of black glass produced by volcanos
a kind of glass produced by volcanoes. It is usually of a black color, and opaque, except in thin splinters
Origin: [L. Obsidianus lapis, so named, according to Pliny, after one Obsidius, who discovered it in Ethiopia: cf. F. obsidiane, obsidienne. The later editions of Pliny read Obsianus lapis, and Obsius, instead of Obsidianus lapis, and Obsidius.]
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.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
ob-sid′i-an, n. a natural glass—the vitreous condition of an acid lava. [From Obsidius, who, according to Pliny, discovered it in Ethiopia.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a hard, dark-coloured rock of a glassy structure found in lava, which breaks with conchoidal fracture.
The obsidian symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the obsidian symbol and its characteristic.
The numerical value of obsidian in Chaldean Numerology is: 6
The numerical value of obsidian in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
The feel is very different because obsidian has no 'bite,' if you look under the microscope at a steel scalpel edge it looks almost like a saw, it has teeth, whereas obsidian is smooth even microscopically.
The biggest advantage with obsidian is that it is the sharpest edge there is, it causes very little trauma to tissue, it heals faster and more importantly it heals with less scarring, it makes for the best cosmetic outcome.
Images & Illustrations of obsidian
Translations for obsidian
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- السبج زجاج بركانيArabic
- obsidianaCatalan, Valencian
- οψιδιανός, οψιάνοςGreek
- obsidiaani, laavalasiFinnish
- tūhua, matā tūhua, matāMāori
- lavaglas, obsidiaanDutch
- noolyíniiNavajo, Navaho
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