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Obsidian

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obsidian

(Science: chemical) A kind of glass produced by volcanoes. It is usually of a black colour, 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.

Origin: 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.