Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday January 9, 2013
1. An irregular or unclassifiable form.
2. A mineral having the outward appearance of another mineral that it has replaced by chemical action.
It is clearly not maturation but a pseudomorph, yet it is a pseudomorph that claims a proximate relation to maturation by the intrinsic precariousness of maturation itself.
-- David L. Norton, Personal Destinies
He blamed the sciences for reestablishing the mirage of truth, and still more the pseudomorph subjects like anthropology and economics whose adepts substituted inapplicable statistics for the ineptness of their insights.
-- Tom Sharpe, Porterhouse Blue
Pseudomorph originally applied to minerals which looked like one type of mineral but were actually composed of another. Though from Greek roots, pseudomorph was used in German before entering English in the 1830s.