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[stuh-lag-mahyt, stal-uh g-mahyt] /stəˈlæg maɪt, ˈstæl əgˌmaɪt/
a deposit, usually of calcium carbonate, more or less resembling an inverted stalactite, formed on the floor of a cave or the like by the dripping of percolating calcareous water.
Origin of stalagmite
1675-85; < New Latin stalagmites < Greek stálagm(a) a drop (stalag-, stem of stalássein to drip + -ma noun suffix of result) + New Latin -ites -ite1
Related forms
[stal-uh g-mit-ik] /ˌstæl əgˈmɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
stalagmitical, adjective
stalagmitically, adverb
Can be confused
stalactite, stalagmite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stalagmites
  • Memorials are a way of forgetting, reducing generational guilt to a grid of albino chess pieces, bloodless stalagmites.
  • These limestone caves hold mysterious chambers with stalagmites and subterranean lakes.
  • The size of the fish will be that much larger than life and the glow of the stalagmites will fill the whole room.
  • Make the stalagmites by taping large plastic cups together end to end, or mouth to mouth.
  • So stalagmites are the guys growing up from the ground.
  • Luminescent organic matter in stalagmites may form annual bands, allowing growth rate to be precisely determined.
  • When the floor of the cave is exposed beneath these drips, mounds of calcite called stalagmites form.
  • Similar to stalagmites in caves, tufas are formed when minerals within dripping water are deposited on a surface.
  • Even here in the entrance room are examples of flowstone and stalagmites.
British Dictionary definitions for stalagmites


a cylindrical mass of calcium carbonate projecting upwards from the floor of a limestone cave: formed by precipitation from continually dripping water Compare stalactite
Derived Forms
stalagmitic (ˌstæləɡˈmɪtɪk), stalagmitical, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin stalagmites, from Greek stalagmos dripping; related to Greek stalassein to drip; compare stalactite
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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Word Origin and History for stalagmites



1680s, from Modern Latin stalagmites (Olaus Wormius), from Greek stalagmos "a dropping," or stalagma "a drop, drip," from stalassein "to trickle" (see stalactite).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stalagmites in Science
A cylindrical or conical mineral deposit, similar to a stalactite but built up from the floor of a cave or cavern. Stalagmites are typically broader than stalactites. The two formations are often, but not always, paired, and they sometimes join at a midpoint to form a pillar. Compare stalactite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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stalagmites in Culture
stalagmites [(stuh-lag-meyets)]

Rock structures that grow up from the floors of caves as water drips down and deposits minerals. (Compare stalactites.)

Note: Stalagmites grow very slowly.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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