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xenolith

[zen-l-ith] /ˈzɛn l ɪθ/
noun, Petrography
1.
a rock fragment foreign to the igneous rock in which it is embedded.
Also called inclusion.
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05; xeno- + -lith
Related forms
xenolithic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for xenolithic

xenolith

/ˈzɛnəlɪθ/
noun
1.
a fragment of rock differing in origin, composition, structure, etc, from the igneous rock enclosing it
Derived Forms
xenolithic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for xenolithic

xenolith

n.

1894, from xeno- "foreign, strange" + -lith "stone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xenolithic in Science
xenolith
  (zěn'ə-lĭth', zē'nə-)   
A rock fragment foreign to the igneous mass in which it occurs. Xenoliths usually become incorporated into a cooling magma body when pieces of the rock into which the magma was injected break off and fall into it. Compare xenocryst.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for xenolithic

xenolith

rock fragment within an intrusive igneous body that is unrelated to the igneous body itself. Xenoliths, which represent pieces of older rock incorporated into the magma while it was still fluid, may be located near their original positions of detachment or may have settled deep into the intrusion, if their density is greater. Xenoliths can be contrasted with autoliths, or cognate xenoliths, which are pieces of older rock within the intrusion that are genetically related to the intrusion itself. The general term for all such incorporated bodies is inclusions. Xenoliths are usually reconstituted through the processes of contact metamorphism, in which heat and fluids cause mineralogic and chemical changes in the parent rock of the xenolith; a study of these changes can give information on the temperature and composition of the magmatic body

Learn more about xenolith with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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