- (Of rocks or sediment) Consisting of or containing clay.
“Our backyard was almost impossible to plant a vegetable garden in because of the argillaceous soil.”
“The archaeological dig was stalled when the rain created a clay-like mud pit in the argillaceous dirt.”
“Argillaceous rocks form about one-third of the rocks exposed on the Earth’s surface.”
Latin, late 17th century
Why this word?
From Latin, “argilla” means “clay,” so the adjective “argillaceous” can be used to describe any rock or sediment with clay material. However it’s not a term the average gardener or landscaper will use. It’s most often used by geologists to describe rocks such as argillaceous sandstones, shales, slates, and limestones. It’s estimated that about one-third of the rocks on the Earth’s surface are argillaceous.
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