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[am-uh-thist] /ˈæm ə θɪst/
a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem.
a purplish tint.
having the color of amethyst.
containing or set with an amethyst or amethysts:
an amethyst brooch.
Origin of amethyst
1250-1300; < Latin amethystus < Greek améthystos not intoxicating, not intoxicated (so called from a belief that it prevented drunkenness), equivalent to a- a-6 + methys- (variant stem of methýein to intoxicate; see methylene) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; replacing Middle English ametist < Anglo-French ametiste < Latin
Related forms
[am-uh-this-tin, -tahyn] /ˌæm əˈθɪs tɪn, -taɪn/ (Show IPA),
amethystlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for amethyst
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He wondered who had been inspired to dress her in that white and amethyst combination.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • At her throat, she had a cameo, and on her left hand, an amethyst set in tiny pearls.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • She had dropped the amethyst, by some incomprehensible mischance.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
  • On the distant heights the gray deepened gradually to amethyst.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • Thorvald with the amethyst of heavy Warlockian foliage at his back.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • The purpura, as mentioned in Pliny, was an amethyst or violet color.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • And sometimes there is an effect with which only the amethyst can be compared.

    The Heart of Nature Francis Younghusband
  • It contained an amethyst necklace, an emerald pendant, and a diamond ring.

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • High above, the sky was filled with clouds of rose and amber and amethyst.

    Christmas Light Ethel Calvert Phillips
British Dictionary definitions for amethyst


a purple or violet transparent variety of quartz used as a gemstone. Formula: SiO2
a purple variety of sapphire; oriental amethyst
the purple colour of amethyst
Derived Forms
amethystine (ˌæmɪˈθɪstaɪn) adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French amatiste, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethustos, literally: not drunken, from a-1 + methuein to make drunk; referring to the belief that the stone could prevent intoxication
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amethyst

violet quartz, late 13c., ametist, from Old French ametiste (Modern French améthyste) and directly from Medieval Latin amatistus, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos "amethyst," literally "not intoxicating," from a- "not" + methyskein "make drunk," from methys "wine" (see mead (n.1)); based on the stone's ancient reputation for preventing drunkenness, which was perhaps sympathetic magic suggested by its wine-like color. People wore rings made of it before drinking. Spelling restored from Middle English ametist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amethyst in Science
A purple or violet, transparent form of quartz used as a gemstone. The color is caused by the presence of iron compounds in the crystal structure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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