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[em-er-uh ld, em-ruh ld] /ˈɛm ər əld, ˈɛm rəld/
a rare variety of beryl that is colored green by chromium and valued as a gem.
Printing. (in Britain) a 6½-point type of a size between nonpareil and minion.
Ornithology. any of numerous small bright green hummingbirds of the genus Chlorostilbon.
having a clear, deep-green color.
Origin of emerald
1250-1300; Middle English emeraude, emeralde < Anglo-French, Old French esmeraude, esmeralde, esmeragde < Latin smaragdus < Greek smáragdos; probably ultimately < Semitic b-r-q shine (≫ Sanskrit marāk(a)la emerald) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for emerald
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Also introduced the brogue and the shamrock into the emerald Isle.

  • We were soon in bed, and at ten o'clock started for emerald and Springsure.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • At emerald, the rail to Springsure branches off from the main line to Barceldine.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • There 's scarce a snake of any size hasn't an emerald or splice of gold in him.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • It lies between the Duke's and Squire Hillcrist's—an emerald isle.

British Dictionary definitions for emerald


/ˈɛmərəld; ˈɛmrəld/
a green transparent variety of beryl: highly valued as a gem
  1. the clear green colour of an emerald
  2. (as adjective): an emerald carpet
(formerly) a size of printer's type approximately equal to 61/2 point
short for emerald moth
Word Origin
C13: from Old French esmeraude, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos; related to Sanskrit marakata emerald
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 emerald

"bright green precious stone," c.1300, emeraude, from Old French esmeraude (12c.), from Medieval Latin esmaraldus, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos "green gem" (emerald or malachite), from Semitic baraq "shine" (cf. Hebrew bareqeth "emerald," Arabic barq "lightning").

Sanskrit maragdam "emerald" is from the same source, as is Persian zumurrud, whence Turkish zümrüd, source of Russian izumrud "emerald."

In early examples the word, like most other names of precious stones, is of vague meaning; the mediæval references to the stone are often based upon the descriptions given by classical writers of the smaragdus, the identity of which with our emerald is doubtful. [OED]
Emerald Isle for "Ireland" is from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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emerald in Science
A transparent, green form of the mineral beryl. It is valued as a gem.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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