chondrule

noun chon·drule \ ˈkän-(ˌ)drül \

Definition of chondrule

: a rounded granule of cosmic origin often found embedded in meteoric stones and sometimes free in marine sediments

Origin and Etymology of chondrule

chondrus, earlier term for a chondrule (borrowed from Greek chóndros "grain of wheat, salt, etc.") + -ule — more at chondro-
Note: The term chondrule was apparently first used by American geologists; the earliest published use is perhaps in Edward S. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield, "On two hitherto undescribed Meteoric Stones," American Journal of Science, 3rd series, vol. 33 (1886), p. 227: "The olivine is the most prominent constituent. This appears frequently in spherules or 'chondrules' of the size of very small shot…" Chondrus (plural chondri or, irregularly, chondra) occurs earlier, as in Walter Flight's translation ("The Formation of Meteorites, and Volcanic Agency," The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 5th series, no. 1, Supplement, June, 1876, pp. 497-507) of an article by the Austrian mineralogist Gustav Tschermak von Seysenegg, "Die Bildung der Meteoriten und der Vulcanismus" (Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, 71. Band, 2. Abtheilung (1875), pp. 661-673). Flight translates Kügelchen in Tschermak's German text as both "spherules" and "chondra." At around the same time German-language authors use the word with the plural form Chondren, either independently or following Anglo-American writers (see, for example, Carl Gümbel, "Ueber die in Bayern gefundenen Steinmeteoriten," Sitzungsberichte der mathematisch-physikalischen Classe der k.b. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München, Band 8, Jahrgang 1878, pp. 14-72).


Learn More about chondrule


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chondrule? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!