La"va (?), n. [It. lava lava, orig. in Naples, a torrent of rain overflowing the streets, fr. It. & L. lavare to wash. See Lave.]

The melted rock ejected by a volcano from its top or fissured sides. It flows out in streams sometimes miles in length. It also issues from fissures in the earth's surface, and forms beds covering many square miles, as in the Northwestern United States.

⇒ Lavas are classed, according to their structure, as scoriaceous or cellular, glassy, stony, etc., and according to the material of which they consist, as doleritic, trachytic, etc.

Lava millstone, a hard and coarse basaltic millstone from the neighborhood of the Rhine. -- Lava ware, a kind of cheap pottery made of iron slag cast into tiles, urns, table tops, etc., resembling lava in appearance.

 

© Webster 1913.

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