Definition of obsidian in English:


Syllabification: ob·sid·i·an
Pronunciation: /əbˈsidēən, äb-


A hard, dark, glasslike 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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