py·​rox·​ene pī-ˈräk-ˌsēn How to pronounce pyroxene (audio)
: any of a group of igneous-rock-forming silicate minerals that contain calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, or aluminum, usually occur in short prismatic crystals or massive form, are often laminated, and vary in color from white to dark green or black
pyroxenic adjective
pyroxenoid adjective or noun

Examples of pyroxene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These rocks are often heavy in minerals like olivine and pyroxene. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 The cores are largely made of peridotite, an igneous rock made of the minerals pyroxene and olivine, that is the most common type of rock in the upper mantle, per the Washington Post. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 June 2023 On Mars, beneath a layer of rusting iron minerals that gives the planet its famous reddish hue, lies a thicker layer of silicates with names like feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine, which are made up of silicon and oxygen structures bonded to metals like iron, aluminum, and magnesium. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Oct. 2018 Oman’s mantle peridotite rocks contain high levels of magnesium and calcium in two abundant minerals: olivine and pyroxene. Douglas Fox, Scientific American, 1 July 2021 Two of those five particles contained the mineral pyroxene, which on Earth often contains water. Korey Haynes, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2019 Measurements from orbit show the material is loaded with pyroxene, a mineral associated with explosive volcanic events called pyroclastic flows. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 5 Jan. 2023 The first study by Kate Saunders and others in Science examined pyroxene crystals erupted in lavas from 1980 to 1986 at Mt. St. Helens in Washington. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2012 The rocky planets all share minerals like olivine, feldspar, pyroxene and magnetite, but only this blue-green world has abundant hornblende, biotite, muscovite … and all those clays — all minerals that require water in their structure. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 5 Sep. 2019

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

Word History


French pyroxène, from Greek pyr- + xenos stranger

First Known Use

1800, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pyroxene was in 1800

Dictionary Entries Near pyroxene

Cite this Entry

“Pyroxene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


py·​rox·​ene pī-ˈräk-ˌsēn How to pronounce pyroxene (audio)
: any of various silicate minerals that usually contain aluminum, calcium, sodium, magnesium, or iron

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