obsidian

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n obsidian acid or granitic glass formed by the rapid cooling of lava without crystallization; usually dark, but transparent in thin pieces
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n obsidian (Min) A kind of glass produced by volcanoes. It is usually of a black color, and opaque, except in thin splinters.☞ In a thin section it often exhibits a fluidal structure, marked by the arrangement of microlites in the lines of the flow of the molten mass.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n obsidian A volcanic rock, in a vitreous condition, and closely resembling ordinary bottle-glass in appearance and texture. Obsidian usually contains about 70 per cent. of silica, and is the vitreous form of a trachyte or rock consisting largely of sanidine. It is of various colors, black, brown, and grayish green being the most common. Obsidian often occurs in a coarsely cellular form, and passes into pumice. See cut under conchoidal.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Obsidian ob-sid′i-an a natural glass—the vitreous condition of an acid lava.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Obsidianus lapis, so named, according to Pliny, after one Obsidius, who discovered it in Ethiopia: cf. F. obsidiane, obsidienne,. The later editions of Pliny read Obsianus lapis, and Obsius, instead of Obsidianus lapis, and Obsidius,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From Obsidius, who, according to Pliny, discovered it in Ethiopia.

Usage

In literature:

A short distance to my left was a huge obsidian cliff, the glassy walls of which rose in a precipice to a considerable height.
"The Black Wolf Pack" by Dan Beard
We finally settled for rhyolite and obsidian.
"Question of Comfort" by Les Collins
Pottery and obsidian are ever present, but become perceptibly less and almost disappear further east.
"Historical Introduction to Studies Among the Sedentary Indians of New Mexico; Report on the Ruins of the Pueblo of Pecos" by Adolphus Bandelier
In constructing a road around the base of the cliff, great difficulty was encountered on account of the hardness of the obsidian.
"Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania" by Jewett Castello Gilson
Remains of cedar beams were discovered, and also obsidian arrow-heads, painted pottery, and other relics.
"Ancient America, in Notes on American Archaeology" by John D. Baldwin
We are also told of a dark-colored glass resembling obsidian, plentiful enough to be cast into solid statues.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
The eyes that looked back at him with a mixture of fear and defiance were, in this light, black as obsidian.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
Between obsidian eyes was a fissure whence emanated a wailing and a foul odor.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930" by Various
With a blade of obsidian she made scars until the blood dripped from her braceletted arms.
"The Flute of the Gods" by Marah Ellis Ryan
Itztli (obsidian), used as a sharp flint, 95.
"The Story of Extinct Civilizations of the West" by Robert E. Anderson
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In poetry:

The malady of the quotidian . . .
Perhaps if summer ever came to rest
And lengthened, deepened, comforted, caressed
Through days like oceans in obsidian
"The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad" by Wallace Stevens
There may be words in rituals spoken
To Quetzalcoatl who makes verdure through rain-flow
Words like the gash made by knives of obsidian
To tell of such greenness!
"The Resplendent Quetzal-Bird" by Padraic Colum

In news:

A shot across Newberry Caldera , with the Big Obsidian Flow (right) and Paulina (left) and East (right) Lakes.
Corsair Obsidian Series 650D.
Obsidian Entertainment and our legendary game designers Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, and Josh Sawyer are excited to bring you a new role-playing game for the PC.
For the past four days, Obsidian has teased a mystery project on their home page.
Obsidian Entertainment and our legendary game designers Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, and Josh Sawyer are excited to bring you a new role-playing game for the PC.
The words on RPG game developer Obsidian 's home page read.
Lucy Burdette NAL/ Obsidian , $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-23783-5.
I was only familiar with obsidian arrowheads of the west — and the metal ones a friend gave us years ago.
NOW Ensemble, Calder Quartet and Dan Deacon during the world premiere of Deacon's 'An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes'.
Obsidian's 'Project Eternity ' raised the full $1.1 million goal halfway through its second day on Kickstarter.
Obsidian has just crossed the $1.1 million mark, and Project Eternity is fully funded.
The success of Obsidian's 'Project Eternity ' on Kickstarter could be a true tipping point in the video game industry.
Lucy Burdette NAL/Obsidian, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-23783-5.
Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart poses in front of a poster of the game Dungeon Siege III that his company worked on.
Irvine-based Obsidian Entertainment raises more than $3.9 million online.
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In science:

Glasses have been of use to mankind from early on, be it as arrowheads for the stone age people of Corsica and the Americas, the obsidian battle axes and swords of the Aztecs, pumice scrappers for animal hides, or the tektite ornaments and fertility symbols of our ancestors.
Formulation of thermodynamics for the glassy state: configurational energy as a modest source of energy
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