Lava spewing from a volcano.
Hot molten rock that spews from a volcano is an example of lava.
- melted rock issuing from a volcano
- such rock when solidified by cooling
Origin of lavaItalian from dialect, dialectal (Neapolitan) lave from Classical Latin labes, a fall, subsidence from labi, to slide from Indo-European base an unverified form l?b-, to hang down from source lap, lip
- Molten rock that reaches the earth's surface through a volcano or fissure.
- The rock formed by the cooling and solidifying of molten rock.
Origin of lavaItalian perhaps from Latin lābēs fall from Latin lābī to fall Word History: Appropriately, lava was named by people living near Mount Vesuvius. The only active volcano on the European mainland, Vesuvius has erupted frequently since Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by it in AD 79. The Neapolitans who lived in the vicinity took the Italian word lava, meaning “a stream caused suddenly by rain,” and applied it to the streams of molten rock coming down the sides of Vesuvius. The term was then taken into Standard Italian, where it came to mean the rock in both its molten and its solidified states. The Italian word was borrowed into English around the middle of the 18th century.
(countable and uncountable, plural lavas)
Geologists make a distinction between magma (molten rock underground) and lava (molten rock on the surface).
- A province in the Basque Country