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[lahym-stohn] /ˈlaɪmˌstoʊn/
a sedimentary rock consisting predominantly of calcium carbonate, varieties of which are formed from the skeletons of marine microorganisms and coral: used as a building stone and in the manufacture of lime.
Compare marble.
Origin of limestone
1515-25; lime1 + stone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for limestone
  • Beneath the helicopter's blades, the woods thicken and the terrain rises to a seam of limestone crag, dripping with trees.
  • Certain bacteria produce calcium carbonate-the stuff that limestone is made of-as part of their normal metabolism.
  • Names are inscribed on limestone markers that line a path through the garden's azaleas and camellias.
  • The campus has a pastoral feel with limestone buildings and lush trees in full bloom.
  • Crisp but honeyed white peaches mixed with limestone.
  • Ground limestone is the slightly less potent of the two and raises pH more slowly.
  • They resemble the canyon's hoodoos but cast in opaque blues, not limestone reds.
  • He worked himself down to a wider outcropping and hunkered there with his back against the limestone and his eyes closed.
  • Farther inland, every sandstone and limestone escarpment is the color of bone.
  • Using a grease pencil, an artist makes a picture on a flat, smooth surface such as limestone.
British Dictionary definitions for limestone


a sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, deposited as the calcareous remains of marine animals or chemically precipitated from the sea: used as a building stone and in the manufacture of cement, lime, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for limestone

late 14c., from lime (n.1) + stone (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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limestone in Science
A sedimentary rock consisting primarily of calcium carbonate, often in the form of the minerals calcite or aragonite, and sometimes with magnesium carbonate in the form of dolomite. Minor amounts of silica, feldspar, pyrite, and clay may also be present. Limestone can occur in many colors but is usually white, gray, or black. It forms either through the accumulation and compaction of fossil shells or other calcium-carbonate based marine organisms, such as coral, or through the chemical precipitation of calcium carbonate out of sea water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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limestone in Culture

limestone definition

Sedimentary rock formed primarily of calcium carbonate, often the skeletons of small marine organisms.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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