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One of the major classes of silicate minerals. Pyroxenes, in general, a series of doubly hydrated silicates usually containing either calcium, magnesium, or iron. They are distinguished from amphiboles, a second major class, by their cleavage planes. Amphiboles have cleavage angles of 56 and 124 degrees while pyroxenes have cleavage angles of 5 and 93 degrees. Pyroxenes are commonly found in both Igneous and Metamorphic rocks. Examples of some Augite, Enstatite, Diopside, pyroxenite, Jadeite, spudomene, and Rhodonite.

Synonyms and Related Terms

pyroxenite; Pyroxen (Deut.); piroxeno (Esp.);pyroxène (Fr.); pyroxenen (Ned.); pirokseny (Pol.); piroxena (Port.); pyroxeen (Ned.)

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • R.F.Symmes, T.T.Harding, Paul Taylor, Rocks, Fossils and Gems, DK Publishing, Inc., New York City, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998