Word of Week (WOW) – Xenolith

wow (1)

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link).

I’m up to the letter this week and this one was a bit of a challenge. There are relatively few words beginning with X, and many of the words that do either refer to something biological, botanical, or chemical, or are names of people or places. I ended up picking a noun that is familiar to me, and I want to attempt a couple of sentences using it in a metaphorical way, or perhaps in a simile.

So, here is my WOW for this week:




Part of Speech: 


Related Forms:

xenolithic: adjective


xen·o·lith  (zěn’ə-lĭth’, zē’nə-)  

Audio link:



(Geological Sceience) a fragment of rock differing in origin, composition, structure, etc, from the igneous rock enclosing it.

Included fragment of granite within basalt. Near Georgeville, Nova Scotia. Rygel M.C. Commons

Included fragment of granite within basalt. Near Georgeville, Nova Scotia. Rygel M.C. Commons





Word Origin:

1894 – 1905; xeno (foreign, strange) + lith (stone)

Use in a Sentence:

1. (Adjective use) The xenolithic nature of the rock gave it an exotic appeal:


Garnet Iherzolite xenolith from Kimberley, South Africa. (Garnet – purplish-red, olivine – dark green, chromian dioxide pyroxene – bright green). Author: James St, John, uploaded by Tillman. Commons.

2. Against the dull grey of the lava flow, the xenolith of yellow peridotite stood out like the moon in the darkening night sky:


‘Nephelinit’ by Benutzer Derhammer. Rounded, yellow, weathered peridotite xenolith in nephelinite lava flow. Kaiserstuhl, SW Germany. Commons

3. The moon was a xenolith in the indigo sky of night:


4. The small girl in the purple dress was like a xenolith in the vast green meadow:


Last two images courtesy of Pixabay.

If you’d like to see more interesting words visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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17 Responses to Word of Week (WOW) – Xenolith

  1. maddmombetty says:

    I especially liked sentence #3: the sentence of a true writer.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Betty. I was determined not to write all my sentences about rocks! It’s an odd sort of word, and I’ve never used it apart from in geology. But I think it works well in metaphors and similes. I’m really glad you agree.

  2. Bekki Hill says:

    I confess I didn’t know that one – but I do now! 🙂

  3. Well, I’ve learned something new today! thank you for the post!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for visiting and liking my post! I’m glad you liked the word… it wasn’t easy picking one that starts with X to discuss and illustrate. (I’m working through the alphabet, you see. It will be Y next week – a little more choice there, I think.) Have a lovley day. Millie. 🙂

  4. exiledprospero says:

    Giving a fanatical speech in the desert heat, amid scurrying tumbleweed and an unconvinceable, hard-bitten audience, the xenophobic politician–long-faced, gaunt, dressed in a grey suit and a silk shirt–was dwarfed by sunkissed sheets of xenolithic rock.

    • milliethom says:

      Wow Prospero, that’s a great piece. I love that you’ve used the word xenophobic, too. (Why didn’t i think of that one to use for my post? Perhaps the geologist in me just zoomed in on xenolith! Ha!) The ‘sunkissed sheets of xenolithic rock’ is perfect in the desert setting. 🙂

      • exiledprospero says:

        Wow as in amazement or ‘Word of the Week?’

        Both. (I’ve taken the liberty of answering for you.)

        Thank you, Millie.

      • milliethom says:

        Clever you, you picked the right answer. Thank you for the great response to my post, too. 🙂

  5. Hi Millie, I think you got gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing these and congrats for your splendid site ❤

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