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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gneiss \Gneiss\ (n[imac]s), n. [G.] (Geol.) A crystalline rock, consisting, like granite, of quartz, feldspar, and mica, but having these materials, especially the mica, arranged in planes, so that it breaks rather easily into coarse slabs or flags. Hornblende sometimes takes the place of the mica, and it is then called hornblendic gneiss or syenitic gneiss. Similar varieties of related rocks are also called gneiss. [1913 Webster]