- a dark, fine-grained, usually extrusive igneous rock that is more basic than andesite, consisting chiefly of plagioclase feldspars and pyroxene: often found in vast sheets, it is the most common extrusive igneous rock
- a kind of unglazed, black pottery designed by Josiah Wedgwoodalso ba·salt′ware·
Origin of basaltearlier basaltes from L, a dark Ethiopian marble: term used by Pliny for basanites from Classical Greek basanit?s, species of slate used to test gold from basanos, touchstone, test (ult. from Egyptian b?nw) + -it?s, -ite
- A hard, dense, dark igneous rock composed chiefly of plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine, and often having a glassy appearance.
- A kind of hard unglazed pottery.
Origin of basaltFrom New Latin basaltēn a misreading (in manuscripts of Pliny) of Latin basanītēn accusative of basanītēs a word Pliny uses of several kinds of rock, including a hard ironlike rock that the Egyptians obtained in Ethiopia from Greek basanītēs (lithos) touchstone basanos touchstone (ultimately (perhaps via Lydian) from Egyptian b&hlowbrev;n graywacke) -ītēs adjectival suffix
columnar basalt at Sheepeater Cliff, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming