Definition of obsidian in English:


Line breaks: ob|sid¦ian
Pronunciation: /əbˈsɪdɪən


[mass noun]
A hard, dark, glass-like volcanic rock formed by the rapid solidification of lava without crystallization.
More example sentences
  • Hard stones such as obsidian and rock crystal were added to the repertoire of the stone-vase maker.
  • The earliest mirrors were of obsidian, a black volcanic rock that could be carved and polished.
  • The presence of basalt and obsidian is a sign of volcanic activity and the instability of the earth's crust in this area.


mid 17th century: from Latin obsidianus, error for obsianus, from Obsius, the name (in Pliny) of the discoverer of a similar stone.

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