from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small, solidified fragment of lava.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small stone; specifically, in the plural, fragmentary materials ejected from volcanoes in eruption, varying in size from that of a pea to that of a walnut. They are sometimes so cellular in structure as to float on the surface of water.
  • n. In anatomy, an ear-stone; an otolith; one of the hard concretions found in the fluid of the labyrinth of the ear of many animals. See otolith.


Latin, diminutive of lapis, stone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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