bath·​o·​lith ˈba-thə-ˌlith How to pronounce batholith (audio)
: a great mass of intruded igneous rock that for the most part stopped in its rise a considerable distance below the surface
batholithic adjective

Examples of batholith in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This granite discovery, known as a batholith, seems to be further proof that researchers are on the right track there. Jackie Appel, Popular Mechanics, 14 July 2023 Alicia writes: Bald Rock Dome is a massive granite batholith in the northern Sierra, sculpted by wind and water into striking formations and curves and planes. Ryan Fonsecastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2023 This means that the volcanic rocks that make up Mineral King had to be sucked down between the invading Sierra Nevada batholith granite at a rate of ~1-2 km/Ma between ~108-98 Ma. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 25 Oct. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'batholith.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German Batholith, from Greek báthos "depth" + German -o- -o- + -lith -lith

Note: The term was introduced by the Austrian geologist Eduard Suess (1831-1914) in Das Antlitz der Erde, Band 1 (Prague & Leipzig, 1883), p. 219.

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of batholith was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near batholith

Cite this Entry

“Batholith.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a great mass of igneous rock that forced its way into or between other rocks and that stopped in its rise quite a distance below the surface

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