noun Geology.
a limestone composed of minute rounded concretions resembling fish roe, in some places altered to ironstone by replacement with iron oxide.
Also called egg stone.

1775–85; (< French oölithe) < Neo-Latin oölithēs. See oo-, -lite

oolitic [oh-uh-lit-ik] , adjective
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World English Dictionary
oolite (ˈəʊəˌlaɪt)
any sedimentary rock, esp limestone, consisting of tiny spherical concentric grains within a fine matrix
[C18: from French from New Latin oolitēs, literally: egg stone; probably a translation of German Rogenstein roe stone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"rock consisting of fine grains of carbonate of lime," 1785, from Mod.L. oolites, from oo-, comb. form of Gk. oon "egg" (cognate with O.E. æg, see egg) + lithos "stone." So called because the rock resembles the roe of fish.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
oolite   (ō'ə-līt')  Pronunciation Key 
A sedimentary rock consisting of ooliths that are cemented together by calcium carbonate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


ovoid or spherical crystalline deposit with a concentric or radial structure; most are composed of calcium carbonate, but some are composed of silica, siderite, calcium phosphate, iron silicate, or iron oxide. Oolite diameters range from 0.25 to 2 mm (0.01 to 0.08 inch), with most being in the 0.5- to 1-millimetre range; oolitic bodies with diameters greater than 2 mm are called pisolites.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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