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Any of various crystalline or glassy, noncrystalline rocks formed by the cooling and solidification of molten earth material (magma). Igneous rocks comprise one of the three principal classes of rocks, the others being metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Though they vary widely in composition, most igneous rocks consist of quartz, feldspars, pyroxenes, amphiboles, micas, olivines, nepheline, leucite, and apatite. They may be classified as intrusive or extrusive rocks.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on igneous rock, visit Britannica.com.
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