ig·​ne·​ous ˈig-nē-əs How to pronounce igneous (audio)
: formed by solidification of magma
igneous rock
: relating to, resulting from, or suggestive of the intrusion or extrusion of magma or volcanic activity
: of, relating to, or resembling fire : fiery

Examples of igneous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the other side of San Juan Island at Lime Kiln Point, one of the area's best places to spot whales, the kids and I clambered around the igneous rock formations splayed beneath the quaint 106-year-old Lime Kiln Lighthouse, marveling at the tenacity of the madrones that clung to them. Jesse Ashlock, Condé Nast Traveler, 4 May 2024 One thing about the PVP that delights Coffey is that it is composed of all three kinds of rock — sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2024 There was clearly some igneous rock, either from volcanic magma or a molten pool created by the meteorite impact that formed the crater. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 18 Sep. 2023 The mantle is mostly solid rock that’s comprised of silicates — silicon-oxygen compounds — found in most igneous rock, which form from the cooling of magma generated within the upper mantle. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 In Alexandria, at about the same time, a slab of igneous rock etched with Greek and hieroglyphics was packed onto a 40-gun ship and made to brave the waves of the Mediterranean. Ross Andersen, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2023 Her work and dedication helped establish the igneous petrology (the study of magma) and geothermal branch of the USGS. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 27 Mar. 2023 Guided by the results from our AI systems, our field team found a large boulder field that geologist Lucie Mathieu identified as very anomalous, and not typical of the kind of igneous rock making up most of the region’s boulders. Josh Goldman, IEEE Spectrum, 29 Apr. 2023 The 15 cores that Perseverance collected in the first year and a half of its mission include igneous rock, sedimentary rock (where life most often lives on Earth), samples indicating past interaction with water, and samples containing organic compounds. Marissa Grunes, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2023

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

Word History


Latin igneus, from ignis fire; akin to Sanskrit agni fire

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of igneous was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near igneous

Cite this Entry

“Igneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/igneous. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ig·​ne·​ous ˈig-nē-əs How to pronounce igneous (audio)
: formed by hardening of melted earth
igneous rock
compare metamorphic, sedimentary sense 2

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