Definition of stalactite
: a deposit of calcium carbonate (such as calcite) resembling an icicle hanging from the roof or sides of a cave
stalactiticplay \ˌsta-(ˌ)lak-ˈti-tik, stə-ˌ\ adjective
Recent Examples of stalactite from the Web
Each of the six different habitats will have distinctive rock formations, from coastline boulders to granite outcroppings to cave stalactites.
Rainwater seeping through the rail beds created slimy-looking stalactites on the underside of the bridge.
It was created in the 1950s when rubber mallets were strategically placed on 37 stalactites across three and a half acres of the caverns.
Pipes, conduits and beams were disguised as stalactites and stalagmites through the application of 700,000 pounds of cement and plaster.
At the time, guides tapped the cave’s stalactites to demonstrate how different sizes would give off different tones.
The next stop was Grand Canyon Caverns (  422-3223), in Peach Springs, where a 200-foot-deep elevator shaft takes visitors down to a labyrinth of limestone passageways filled with stalagmites and stalactites.
Its central chamber measures 107 meters high, 130 meters long and 65 meters wide and is thick with stalactites and stalagmites.
The gem of the center is Perry's Cave, 52 feet below ground, where visitors can view stalactites, stalagmites and cave pearls on the walls, ceiling and floor.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stalactite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of stalactite
New Latin stalactites, from Greek stalaktos dripping, from stalassein to let drip
First Known Use: 1677See Words from the same year
STALACTITE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of stalactite for English Language Learners
: a pointed piece of rock that hangs down from the roof of a cave and that is formed by dripping water which contains minerals
STALACTITE Defined for Kids
Definition of stalactite for Students
: a deposit hanging from the roof or side of a cave in the shape of an icicle formed by the partial evaporation of dripping water containing minerals
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up stalactite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).