Gneiss meaning

nīs
A banded or foliated metamorphic rock, usually of the same composition as granite.
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A coarsegrained metamorphic rock resembling granite, consisting of alternating layers of different minerals, such as feldspar, quartz, mica, and hornblende, and having a banded appearance.
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A highly foliated, coarse-grained metamorphic rock consisting of light-colored layers, usually of quartz and feldspar, alternating with dark-colored layers of other minerals, usually hornblende and biotite. Individual grains are often visible between layers. Gneiss forms as the result of the regional metamorphism of igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks.
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(geology) A common and widely-distributed metamorphic rock having bands or veins, but not schistose.
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Origin of gneiss

  • German Gneis probably alteration of Middle High German ganeist spark (from its appearance) from Old High German gneista
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From German Gneis, from Middle High German gneist (“spark”), from Old High German gneisto (“spark”). More at gnast.
    From Wiktionary