stro·​mat·​o·​lite strō-ˈma-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce stromatolite (audio)
: a laminated usually mounded sedimentary fossil formed from layers of cyanobacteria, calcium carbonate, and trapped sediment
stromatolitic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web At the time, most researchers thought the key to figuring out whether a stromatolite-like pattern had been shaped by primitive microbes or geologic forces was to scrutinize a sample micrometer by micrometer. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, 8 Mar. 2021 Their complexity suggests that life was in existence long before these first stromatolite fossils grew. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 The bottom of the channel was bright purple and made of stromatolite-building microbial mats that thrive in the complete absence of oxygen. Brendan Paul Burns, The Conversation, 25 Sep. 2020 Miller said this is a good place to see a sample of a stromatolite, a layered limestone structure made of sediment and fossilized cyanobacteria that lived in shallow oceans. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, 14 Aug. 2020 Compared with Curiosity, Perseverance boasts several upgraded instruments, including an advanced camera that could help researchers spot a stromatolite, a kind of rock formed only by microbes. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 July 2020 Consider the case of extremely old stromatolites, layered underwater mounds created by cyanobacteria. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020 Researchers have found stromatolites, microbial mats, chemical signatures indicative of life and more. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020 The scientists from the University of New South Wales discovered 3.5 billion-year-old stromatolites, ancient sedimentary rocks, that were generally believed to contain the earliest signs of life, a theory that has now been proven. Fox News, 26 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


Latin stromat-, stroma bed covering + English -o- + -lite

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stromatolite was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near stromatolite

Cite this Entry

“Stromatolite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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