Granite is a common and widely-occurring group of intrusive felsic igneous rocks that form at great depths and pressures under continents. Granite consists of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars, quartz, hornblende, biotite, muscovite and minor accessory minerals such as magnetite, garnet, zircon and apatite. Rarely, a pyroxene is present. Ordinary granite always carries a small amount of plagioclase, but when this is absent the rock is referred to as alkali granite. An increasing proportion of plagioclase feldspar causes granite to pass into granodiorite. A rock consisting of equal proportions of orthoclase and plagioclase plus quartz may be considered a quartz monzonite. A granite containing both muscovite and biotite micas is called a binary granite. The average density is 2.75 g/cm3 with a range of 1.74 to 2.80.
The word granite comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock.