syenite sī´ənīt [key], coarse-grained igneous rock, similar in appearance and composition to granite. Unlike granite, it contains little or no quartz. The chief minerals in syenite are the feldspars, with mica, hornblende, and pyroxene. Varieties are distinguished (according to the ferromagnesian minerals contained) as augite syenite, hornblende syenite, mica syenite, and nepheline syenite. Syenites are comparatively rare rocks, being found chiefly in a few areas of the United States and Germany. They are occasionally substituted for granites as building stones.
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