Perlite meaning

pûr'līt'
A natural volcanic glass similar to obsidian but having distinctive concentric cracks and a relatively high water content. In a fluffy heat-expanded form perlite is used as a lightweight aggregate, in fire-resistant insulation, and in soil for potted plants.
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A greenish volcanic glass, similar to obsidian, with a pearly luster and multiple, minute concentric cracks, used as insulation and in making concrete, plaster, etc.
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(mineralogy) An amorphous volcanic glass formed by the hydration of obsidian.
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The lightweight insulating material and aggregate resulting from expanding perlite glass by heat.
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Origin of perlite

  • French (from perle pearl) (from Old French pearl1) or German Perlit (from Perle pearl) (ultimately from Vulgar Latin pernula)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From French perle (“pearl") + -ite
    From Wiktionary