Definition of laterite in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlatərʌɪt/


[mass noun]
1A reddish clayey material, hard when dry, forming a topsoil in some tropical or subtropical regions and sometimes used for building.
Example sentences
  • Check whether your building or part of it is constructed with any of the traditional building materials like lime, laterite, granite, wood, mud or the like.
  • The Sinda community will be required to contribute 25 per cent towards the project, and this will come in the form of crushed stones, river and building sand, laterite and pan bricks.
  • Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, the network was never discovered.
1.1 Geology A clayey soil horizon rich in iron and aluminium oxides, formed by weathering of igneous rocks in moist warm climates.
Example sentences
  • A major source of iron, called iron laterite, is a type of residual deposit generated by the intense weathering of iron-rich rocks such as mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks.
  • Similar sediments, overlying a laterite soil and an associated silcrete horizon, are known from the Sidmouth area.
  • Nuggets in laterite can be either reddish or black; nuggets in quartz appear cloaked with white.



Pronunciation: /latəˈrɪtɪk/
Example sentences
  • This is probably less wide than that shown in the official geological maps, and rests above a very thick, deep brown lateritic soil that may be a heavily altered pyroclastic sequence.
  • Important lateritic nickel deposits are found in New Caledonia, Indonesia, and Cuba, all of which are associated with island arc volcanism and plate margins.
  • Most of the route stretches through rolling green hills and intervening rice paddies underlain with rich red lateritic soils.


Early 19th century: from Latin later 'brick' + -ite1.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lat¦er|ite

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