a massive variety of talc with a soapy or greasy feel, used for hearths, washtubs, tabletops, carved ornaments, etc.
Also called steatite.

1675–85; soap + stone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
soapstone (ˈsəʊpˌstəʊn)
Also called: steatite a massive compact soft variety of talc, used for making tabletops, hearths, ornaments, etc
[C17: so called because it has a greasy feel and was sometimes used as soap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
soapstone   (sōp'stōn')  Pronunciation Key 
A soft metamorphic rock composed mostly of the mineral talc, but also including chlorite, pyroxene, and amphibole. It has a schistose texture and is greasy to the touch. Soapstone forms through the alteration of ferromagnesian silicate minerals during metamorphism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
There are two decks and an open kitchen with cherry cabinets and soapstone and
  butcher-block counters.
The interior includes wide-plank floors, nine fireplaces and an updated kitchen
  with soapstone countertops.
His elaborate soapstone carvings, including the pulpits and altars, are simply
Green soapstone is used for countertops and for one of the two sinks in this
  kitchen, and the floor is concrete with radiant heat.
Image for soapstone
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