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[pawr-fuh-rit-ik] /ˌpɔr fəˈrɪt ɪk/
adjective, Petrology
of, pertaining to, containing, or resembling porphyry, its texture, or its structure.
Origin of porphyritic
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English porphiritike < Medieval Latin porphyrīticus < Greek porphyrītikós of porphyry; see -ic
Related forms
nonporphyritic, adjective
pseudoporphyritic, adjective
subporphyritic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for porphyritic
Historical Examples
  • A porphyritic dyke runs along the Pacific slope and tends to change the direction of the veins of ore.

    The Pinos Altos Story Dorothy Watson
  • Page 40: "porphorytic" changed to "porphyritic" (the greenstone is handsomely porphyritic).

    Western Scenes and Reminiscences Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
  • Transitions to the porphyritic dolerites and basalts arise by increase in the proportion of this ground-mass.

  • porphyritic mountains, says M. Maury, imprint on the landscape a peculiarly picturesque character.

    The Desert World Arthur Mangin
  • In the main the lava is an andesite, and is very generally of a porphyritic structure.

    Mount Rainier Various
  • The shales become dense, highly crystalline rocks of a "hornstone" type, with porphyritic developments of silicate minerals.

  • That is, the metamorphic rocks are characteristically holocrystalline, while igneous rocks are porphyritic, or cryptocrystalline.

    North America Israel C. Russell
  • The sands and sandstones become highly crystalline quartzites, spotted with porphyritic developments of silicates.

  • But the bulk of the moraine is composed of porphyritic granite derived from Feldspar and Cathedral Valleys.

    The Yosemite John Muir
  • Subsequently the porphyritic rock flowed over the surface in a pasty mass, covering the limestone.

British Dictionary definitions for porphyritic


(of rocks) having large crystals in a fine groundmass of minerals
consisting of porphyry
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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porphyritic in Science
An igneous rock containing the large crystals known as phenocrysts embedded in a fine-grained matrix.

porphyritic adjective (pôr'fə-rĭt'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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