noun \ˈlä-və, ˈla-\

: melted rock from a volcano

Full Definition of LAVA

:  molten rock that issues from a volcano or from a fissure in the surface of a planet (as earth) or moon; also :  such rock that has cooled and hardened
la·va·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of LAVA

  1. a flow of molten lava

Origin of LAVA

Italian, ultimately from Latin labes fall; akin to Latin labi to slide — more at sleep
First Known Use: 1759

Rhymes with LAVA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Molten rock originating as magma in the Earth's mantle that pours out onto the Earth's surface through volcanic vents (see volcano) at temperatures of about 1,300–2,200 °F (700–1,200 °C). Mafic lavas, such as basalt, form flows known by the Hawaiian names pahoehoe and aa. Pahoehoe is smooth and gently undulating; the lava moves through natural pipes known as lava tubes. Aa is very rough, covered with a layer of loose, irregular fragments called clinker, and flows in open channels. Lava that starts out as pahoehoe may turn into aa as it cools. Lavas of intermediate composition form a block lava flow, which also has a top consisting largely of loose rubble, but the fragments are fairly regular in shape, mostly polygons with relatively smooth sides. See also bomb; nuée ardente.


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