desert varnish


Definition of desert varnish

: a dark coating which is found on rocks after long exposure in desert regions and whose color is due to iron and manganese oxides

First Known Use of desert varnish

circa 1898, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About desert varnish

Time Traveler for desert varnish

Time Traveler

The first known use of desert varnish was circa 1898

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near desert varnish

desert trumpet flower

desert varnish


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for desert varnish

Cite this Entry

“Desert varnish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on desert varnish Encyclopedia article about desert varnish


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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