ig·​ne·​ous | \ ˈig-nē-əs How to pronounce igneous (audio) \

Definition of igneous

1a : formed by solidification of magma igneous rock
b : relating to, resulting from, or suggestive of the intrusion or extrusion of magma or volcanic activity
2 : of, relating to, or resembling fire : fiery

Examples of igneous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And in 2017, researchers from London's Royal College of Art found that its igneous bluestones produce a loud clanging noise when struck, which those who built the monument may have associated with mystical or healing powers. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Stonehenge Lego” scale model reveals the pagan monument’s unique soundscape," 1 Sep. 2020 There, volcanic eruptions long ago covered the land in molten rock, building a layer of igneous rock up to 1,000 feet deep, which could have easily obscured the impact crater. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Crater From Giant Meteorite Strike Might Be Hidden Under Volcanic Plateau," 10 Jan. 2020 Chelsea Wiseman, a doctoral student at Flinders University, recalls swimming through turquoise water when her colleague, John McCarthy, grabbed her fin and showed her an igneous rock stone tool. Megan Gannon, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Submerged 7,000-Year-Old Discovery Shows the Great Potential of Underwater Archaeology," 1 July 2020 These volcanic events, which leave deposits called large igneous provinces, produce at least 100,000 cubic kilometers of lava over one million years. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Model Suggests Toxic Transformation on Venus," 13 July 2020 Evidence indicates that suspiciously close in time to all that igneous activity, the planet warmed by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit). Quanta Magazine, "Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event Traced to Magma Flood," 19 Mar. 2020 Recently, a paper by Jones and his collaborators in Birmingham removed the last major doubt and showed that igneous activity was indeed the principal driver of the warming. Quanta Magazine, "Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event Traced to Magma Flood," 19 Mar. 2020 The samples of kimberlite, an igneous rock which sometimes contains diamonds, came from deep beneath Chidliak Kimberlite Province in southern Baffin Island. Rory Sullivan, CNN, "Scientists in Canada discover that an ancient continent was larger than we thought," 22 Mar. 2020 Lavas include igneous rocks like basalt and granite. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Our Ancient Ancestors Were Pretty Excellent Engineers," 5 Feb. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of igneous

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for igneous

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about igneous

Time Traveler for igneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of igneous was in 1664

See more words from the same year

Statistics for igneous

Last Updated

5 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Igneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/igneous. Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for igneous


How to pronounce igneous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of igneous

technical : formed when hot, liquid rock cools and becomes hard


ig·​ne·​ous | \ ˈig-nē-əs How to pronounce igneous (audio) \

Kids Definition of igneous

: formed by hardening of melted mineral material within the earth igneous rock

More from Merriam-Webster on igneous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for igneous

Comments on igneous

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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