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[gran-it] /ˈgræn ɪt/
a coarse-grained igneous rock composed chiefly of orthoclase and albite feldspars and of quartz, usually with lesser amounts of one or more other minerals, as mica, hornblende, or augite.
anything compared to this rock in great hardness, firmness, or durability.
Origin of granite
1640-50; < Italian granito grainy. See grain, -ite1
Related forms
[gruh-nit-ik] /grəˈnɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
granitelike, adjective
pregranitic, adjective
Can be confused
granite, granité.


[gran-i-tey, grah-ni-; French gra-nee-tey] /ˌgræn ɪˈteɪ, ˌgrɑ nɪ-; French gra niˈteɪ/
noun, French Cookery.
ice (def 4).
< French
Can be confused
granite, granité. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for granite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There she sat down in the shade of a granite projection, and was lost in thought.

    Beatrix Honore de Balzac
  • In the afternoon got a fine round of angles from granite rocks.

  • The marble and granite columns came, no doubt, from some neighbouring Gallo-Roman building.

  • On the fourth day this changed, and we camped at the foot of a granite mountain.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • It also brought to Java the granite which was necessary to build the strong fort where the government of the colony was to reside.

    The Golden Book of the Dutch Navigators Hendrik Willem van Loon
British Dictionary definitions for granite


a light-coloured coarse-grained acid plutonic igneous rock consisting of quartz, feldspars, and such ferromagnesian minerals as biotite or hornblende: widely used for building
great hardness, endurance, or resolution
another name for a stone (sense 9)
Derived Forms
granite-like, adjective
granitic (ɡrəˈnɪtɪk), granitoid, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Italian granito grained, from granire to grain, from grano grain, from Latin grānum
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 granite

1640s, from French granit(e) (17c.) or directly from Italian granito "granite," originally "grained," past participle of granire "granulate, make grainy," from grano "grain," from Latin granum "grain" (see corn (n.1)). In reference to the appearance of the rock. Used figuratively for "hardness" (of the heart, head, etc.) from 1839. New Hampshire, U.S., has been the Granite State since at least 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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granite in Science
A usually light-colored, coarse-grained igneous rock consisting mostly of quartz, orthoclase feldspar, sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar, and micas. Quartz usually makes up 10 to 50 percent of the light-colored minerals in granite, with the remaining minerals consisting of the feldspars and muscovite. The darker minerals in granite are usually biotite and hornblende. Granite is one of the most common rocks in the crust of continents, and is formed by the slow, underground cooling of magma.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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granite in Culture

granite definition

A relatively lightweight igneous rock that makes up most of the Earth's crust beneath the continents. (See basalt, plate tectonics, and tectonic plates.)

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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