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or pearlite

[pur-lahyt] /ˈpɜr laɪt/
noun, Petrography
a volcanic glass in which concentric fractures impart a distinctive structure resembling masses of small spheroids, used as a plant growth medium.
Origin of perlite
1825-35; < French; see pearl1, -ite1
Related forms
[pur-lit-ik] /pɜrˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perlite
Historical Examples
  • I'll fetch ye yer breakfus', sah, in de mornin', fur all ye are so perlite.

    The Storm Centre Charles Egbert Craddock
  • "This gentleman has been so perlite to me, James," said she.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "I brung yo' a side of nice hawg what I jes' kill't," says he perlite.

  • He's too perlite by half, with his smile and his fine lingo and all.

    In Clive's Command Herbert Strang
  • He looked and spoke like a thorough-bred gentleman; but he was as perlite and civil as ever a man could be.

    The Missing Merchantman Harry Collingwood
  • You gimme sech a tu'n, dat I ain't got room ter be perlite skacely.'

    Nights With Uncle Remus Joel Chandler Harris
  • Much obleeged to him for being so perlite in showing me round.

    Airship Andy Frank V. Webster
  • And the sperrit o' the little feller, jest takin' his dorg 'n' lightin' out with nothin' but a perlite good-bye!

    Timothy's Quest Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • But I don't think he heard that shot, and I warn't sorry for it; for it's not right to be a pokin' it into a perlite man, is it?

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • He asked me as perlite for the wood, as he couldn't be perliter ef I war Queen Victory herself.'

    Cedar Creek Elizabeth Hely Walshe
British Dictionary definitions for perlite


a variety of obsidian consisting of masses of small pearly globules: used as a filler, insulator, and soil conditioner
Derived Forms
perlitic, pearlitic (pɜːˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from perlepearl1
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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