no·​vac·​u·​lite | \ nō-ˈva-kyə-ˌlīt How to pronounce novaculite (audio) \

Definition of novaculite

: a very hard fine-grained siliceous rock used for whetstones and possibly of sedimentary origin

Examples of novaculite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Quapaw and Caddo peoples lived here for thousands of years, mining the region’s ubiquitous novaculite, a type of flint stone, for weapons. Washington Post, "Soaking up history in Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park," 7 Feb. 2020

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

First Known Use of novaculite

1794, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for novaculite

Latin novāculum "razor" (from novā- —going back to earlier *ksneu̯ā- "scrape smooth, sharpen"— + -culum, instrumental suffix, going back to *-tlom) + -ite entry 1; *ksneu̯ā-, probably derivative of an Indo-European adjective *ksneu̯͟-o- "scraped smooth," from a verbal base *ksneu̯- "scrape (until sharp or smooth)" (whence, with ablaut variation, Sanskrit kṣṇáuti "(s/he) whets, sharpens," kṣṇutáḥ "sharpened," kṣṇótram "whetstone," Avestan hu-xšnutō "well-sharpened"), iterative derivative of *kseu̯-, whence Greek xýō, xeîn "to shave, smooth"

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The first known use of novaculite was in 1794

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Cite this Entry

“Novaculite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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