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[ney-kree-uh s]
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  1. of or relating to nacre.
  2. resembling nacre; lustrous; pearly.

Origin of nacreous

First recorded in 1830–40; nacre + -ous
Related formssub·na·cre·ous, adjectiveun·na·cre·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nacreous

Historical Examples

  • He abominated the nacreous flesh tones of Titian, Correggio, or Rubens.


    James Huneker

  • It is seldom as much as half an inch in length, and has a nacreous interior.

  • Inside it is white and nacreous, with a large brown area under the apex.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • All the trochids are nacreous within the aperturea character which is constant throughout the family.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • Within the aperture the surface is nacreous and greenish in tint; the last whorl is drawn in, like gathers, at the suture.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

British Dictionary definitions for nacreous


  1. relating to or consisting of mother-of-pearl
  2. having the lustre of mother-of-pearlnacreous minerals
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

Word Origin and History for nacreous


"resembling nacre," 1807, from nacre + -ous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nacreous in Medicine


  1. Resembling mother-of-pearl; lustrous.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.