Origin of obsidianModern Latin obsidianus from Classical Latin Obsidianus (lapis), a faulty reading in Pliny (altered by associated, association with Classical Latin obsidium, a siege from obsidere: see obsess) for Obsianus (lapis), stone of Obsius, finder of a similar stone in Ethiopia
a hard, usually dark-colored or black volcanic glass with conchoidal fracture, often used as a gem
A usually black or banded, hard volcanic glass that displays shiny, curved surfaces when fractured and is formed by rapid cooling of lava.
Origin of obsidianLatin obsidiānus misreading of obsiānus (lapis) Obsian (stone), obsidian after Obsius , a Roman who supposedly discovered it or a similar mineral
A shiny, usually black, volcanic glass. Obsidian forms above ground from lava that is similar in composition to the magma from which granite forms underground, but cools so quickly that minerals do not have a chance to form within it.
(usually uncountable, plural obsidians)
(comparative more obsidian, superlative most obsidian)
- (poetic) black
- Obsidian and rock crystal were also used for knife making.
- The most characteristic weapon of the Mexicans was the maquahuitl or " handwood," a club set with two rows of large sharp obsidian flakes, a well-directed blow with which would cut down man or horse.
- Breakfast was on the magic obsidian tray next to the bed.
- The archers shot well and with strong bows, though their arrows were generally tipped only with stone or bone; their shields or targets, mostly round, were of ordinary barbaric forms; the spears or javelins had heads of obsidian or bronze, and were sometimes hurled with a spear-thrower or atlatl, of which pictures and specimens still exist, showing it to be similar in principle to those used by the Australians and Eskimo.
- Large areas are overlain with trachyte, basalt, obsidian, tuff and pumice.