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[maf-ik] /ˈmæf ɪk/
adjective, Geology
of or relating to rocks rich in dark, ferromagnesian minerals.
Compare basic (def 4), ultramafic.
Origin of mafic
1910-15; ma(gnesium) + Latin f(errum) iron + -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mafic
  • mafic rocks are darker colored and are mostly made up of magnesium and iron.
  • The dark, or mafic, minerals are richer in iron and magnesium.
  • Deposits related to subaerial mafic extrusive rocks.
  • Permeability is slow in mafic rocks because the dark minerals commonly weather to clay.
  • The mafic inclusions are composed of the same minerals as the enclosing granitic rock, but in different proportions.
mafic in Science
Relating to an igneous rock that contains a group of dark-colored minerals, composed chiefly of magnesium and iron. Compare felsic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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