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one of a pair of heavy flat disc-shaped stones that are rotated one against the other to grind grain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a round, dressed natural or artificial stone; the working part of a set of millstones, which hulls glumaceous crops and mills grain and other materials. Millstones working in pairs were widespread in the third and fourth centuries B.C.; prior to that grain was ground in mortars. Millstones were originally turned by humans or animals, but when they became larger in size they came to be powered by water and wind.

Millstones are made of one or several pieces (natural) or small particles (artificial) of rock. Hard types of rock such as quartzite (the best), sandstone, and granite are used for natural millstones; artificial millstones are made of crushed flint, quartzite, and emery or a mixture of emery and flint, cemented together by magnesium chloride or caustic magne-site. On their working surfaces millstones have grooves, the edges of which are the cutting parts. Millstones with sharp edges split grain particles more rapidly.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Clearly the Millstone is a very popular Sunday-lunch destination, but the staff could perhaps improve upon communication as there was a fairly substantial wait between courses.
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But they also occur in small numbers in Central Australia, where the 'rocking' action is occasionally used for the initial pulverising of acacia seed (Devitt 1983), generally on the flatter parts of a millstone.
The story was based on views expressed by a man, who for years called Millennium House, "Millstone House" after Labour leased and bought it to accommodate staff 16 years ago.
The approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows the Millstone 3 unit to use water as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, up from 75 degrees.
The industry showcase will be staged at Millstone Moor Farm, Cockermouth, on Wednesday, June 3, with the permission of Neil and Sally Marston, who are noted for the quality of the Bluefaced Leicesters and North of England Mule sheep they breed.