\ ˈnīs How to pronounce gneiss (audio) \

Definition of gneiss

: a foliated metamorphic rock corresponding in composition to a feldspathic plutonic rock (such as granite)

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Other Words from gneiss

gneissic \ ˈnī-​sik How to pronounce gneiss (audio) \ adjective
gneissoid \ ˈnī-​ˌsȯid How to pronounce gneiss (audio) \ adjective
gneissose \ ˈnī-​ˌsōs How to pronounce gneiss (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gneiss in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bones of this place—Lewisian gneiss rock, the oldest in Europe—protruded like ribs through a thin skin of heather and gorse. Stanley Stewart, Travel + Leisure, "Visit Distilleries, Castles, and Dramatic Cliffs on Scotland’s Hebrides Islands," 22 Mar. 2021 In the fall, brothers Chris and Dominic Leong fashioned a trio of gneiss stone vessels — cubelike with curved edges and, crucially, airtight lids. Kate Guadagnino, New York Times, "In Los Angeles, a Historic Home Becomes an Experimental Kitchen," 11 Feb. 2020 Buried in the earth were remnants of fragments of the same type of rock that makes up the Callanish stones—called Lewisian gneiss—which, unlike the peat and clays that stud the island’s dirt, are poor conductors of electricity. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Massive Lightning Strike May Have Inspired This Scottish Stone Circle," 31 Dec. 2019 The near-seamless local bedrock, a type of rock called gneiss, is geologically stable and keeps water out. Andrew Curry, The Atlantic, "What Lies Beneath," 11 Sep. 2017 The gneiss was also used to create the low stone walls that bring definition to the estate’s exterior walkways. USA TODAY, "Hawk Hill, contemporary 1960s home towering over N.Y.'s Hudson River, for sale," 11 Aug. 2017 The falls are a 62-foot-high double-plunge along a granitic gneiss ledge. Peter Marteka,, "Connecticut's Waterfalls: Five Beauties Not To Miss," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gneiss.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gneiss

1757, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gneiss

German Gneis, alteration of Middle High German gneiste spark, from Old High German gneisto; akin to Old English fȳrgnāst spark

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Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gneiss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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