- stalactite, stalagmiteA stalactite hangs down from the roof of a cave, and is formed from dripping water containing rich minerals. A stalagmite rises up from the floor and is formed from deposits also caused by dripping. Both words are derived from the Greek word stalassō meaning ‘to drip’, and are pronounced with the stress on the first syllable in BrE but with the stress on the second syllable in AmE.
Modern English usage. 2014.