1. [syn: porphyry, porphyritic rock]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Porphyry \Por"phy*ry\, n.; pl. Porphyries. [F. porphyre, L.
porphyrites, fr. Gr. ? like purple, fr. ? purple. See
A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting
of a fine-grained base (usually feldspathic) through which
crystals, as of feldspar or quartz, are disseminated. There
are red, purple, and green varieties, which are highly
esteemed as marbles.
Porphyry shell (Zool.), a handsome marine gastropod shell
(Oliva porphyria), having a dark red or brown polished
surface, marked with light spots, like porphyry.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any igneous rock with crystals embedded in a finer
groundmass of minerals [syn: porphyry, porphyritic