Definition of stalactite in English:


Pronunciation /stəˈlakˌtīt/ /stəˈlækˌtaɪt/

Translate stalactite into Spanish


  • A tapering structure hanging like an icicle from the roof of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water.

    Compare with stalagmite

    ‘Originally formed by a subterranean stream, then flooded by the sea, it is a rare opportunity to dive in salt water among stalactites and stalagmites.’
    • ‘When a stalactite or stalagmite is deposited it contains a large amount of uranium and no thorium because of differences in the chemical behaviour of these elements.’
    • ‘He was in a cave, stalactites and stalagmites all around him.’
    • ‘Our path is frequently obstructed by various cave things like stalactites, stalagmites, and blind butterbats.’
    • ‘There were numerous pools of boiling lava, and stalactites and stalagmites joined to form crude natural columns.’
    • ‘His sharp eyes listened to the drops of limestone water forming new stalactites and stalagmites.’
    • ‘We had plenty of time to admire the water clarity, the stalactites and stalagmites and the view of trees framed by the entrance.’
    • ‘Limestone dissolved by trickling water has formed both stalagmites and stalactites, and the beauty of the Cave is notable in its own right.’
    • ‘Only the tops of a few mountains were left above water, and some of these became the Balearic Islands, with limestone caves full of stalagmites and stalactites.’
    • ‘He collected a stalactite from an underwater cave.’
    • ‘Right below the stalactites, some stalagmites are forming.’
    • ‘The largest developed limestone cave in Idaho, Minnetonka Cave offers a variety of stalactites and stalagmites within its walls.’
    • ‘Calcite, or calcium carbonate, is the main constituent of limestone and of cave formations such as stalagmites and stalactites.’
    • ‘A rough circle of stalactites and stalagmites dominated the centre of the cave, looking for all the world like a set of stone, needle-like teeth.’
    • ‘In the caves there are marvellous stalactites and stalagmites, which must place these caves amongst the most beautiful in the world.’
    • ‘She gazed at the stalactites and stalagmites lining the floors and ceiling of the cave.’
    • ‘The caves also contain stalagmites and stalactites which can only be seen in limestone caves.’
    • ‘The beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations in the cave are a sight one would seldom get to see in a lifetime.’
    • ‘It is a fairytale world of weirdly shaped hills, as well as spectacular caverns of stalagmites and stalactites in endless shapes and forms.’
    • ‘Stalagmites rise from shelves in the side of the cave and stalactites drop to just clear of my head.’


Late 17th century from modern Latin stalactites, from Greek stalaktos ‘dripping’, based on stalassein ‘to drip’.