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Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble may be foliated. Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however, stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.
The word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον (mármaron), from μάρμαρος (mármaros), "crystalline rock, shining stone", perhaps from the verb μαρμαίρω (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam";R. S. P. Beekes has suggested that a "Pre-Greek origin is probable."
This stem is also the basis for the English word marmoreal, meaning "marble-like." While the English term resembles the French marbre, most other European languages follow the original Greek—see Persian and Irish marmar, Spanish mármol, Italian marmo, Portuguese mármore, Welsh, Slovene, German, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish marmor, Finnish marmori, Romanian marmură, Polish marmur, Dutch marmer, Turkish mermer, Czech mramor, and Russian мрáмор (mramor). In Hungarian it is called márvány.
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