ob·​sid·​i·​an | \ əb-ˈsi-dē-ən How to pronounce obsidian (audio) \

Definition of obsidian

: a dark natural glass formed by the cooling of molten lava

Examples of obsidian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The analysis showed that all four were made using Mexican obsidian. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 6 Oct. 2021 Other artifacts unearthed in the village, from Egyptian shells to Turkish obsidian to Mesopotamian pottery, further testify to its thriving exchange networks. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 June 2021 Fensterstock’s obsidian-encrusted piece speaks to both the wonder and the folly of human efforts to reckon our place in the cosmos. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Nov. 2020 Early humans sourced black obsidian for projectile points from at least 50 miles away. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Oct. 2020 Blegen is not yet convinced that the obsidian at Olorgesailie is evidence of trade networks. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, 21 Oct. 2020 Blades chipped from cryptocrystalline, rocks such as chert and obsidian, are extremely sharp. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, 24 Apr. 2020 His efforts have already turned up ancient pottery shards and chunks of obsidian. Sarah Medford, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2020 For mysterious reasons, one looks like obsidian, giving a town that grew up around it its name: Black Spire Outpost. Wired, 18 Nov. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of obsidian

1794, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for obsidian

New Latin obsidianus, from Latin obsidianus lapis, false manuscript reading for obsianus lapis, literally, stone of Obsius, from Obsius, its supposed discoverer

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The first known use of obsidian was in 1794

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Cite this Entry

“Obsidian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsidian. Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for obsidian


ob·​sid·​i·​an | \ əb-ˈsi-dē-ən How to pronounce obsidian (audio) \

Kids Definition of obsidian

: a smooth dark rock formed by the cooling of lava

More from Merriam-Webster on obsidian

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about obsidian


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