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pseudo- (false) +‎ -morph (form)


pseudomorph (plural pseudomorphs)

  1. A deceptive, irregular, or false form; specifically:
    1. (geology, mineralogy) A mineral that formed by replacement of an existing mineral (or organic matter) such that the new mineral has the appearance and dimensions of the original.
      Petrified wood is a silicic pseudomorph of the original wood.
      • 1852, James D. Dana, A Manual of Mineralogy, page 54:
        The first kind of pseudomorphs, are pseudomorphs by alteration; the second, pseudomorphs by replacement; the third, pseudomorphs by infiltration; the fourth, pseudomorphs by incrustation.

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