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[on-iks, oh-niks] /ˈɒn ɪks, ˈoʊ nɪks/
Mineralogy. a variety of chalcedony having straight parallel bands of alternating colors.
Compare Mexican onyx.
(not used technically) an unbanded chalcedony dyed for ornamental purposes.
black, especially a pure or jet black.
Medicine/Medical. a nail of a finger or toe.
black, especially jet black.
Origin of onyx
1250-1300; Middle English onix < Latin onyx < Greek ónyx nail, claw, veined gem Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for onyx


a variety of chalcedony with alternating black and white parallel bands, used as a gemstone. Formula: SiO2
a compact variety of calcite used as an ornamental stone; onyx marble. Formula: CaCO3
Word Origin
C13: from Latin from Greek: fingernail (so called from its veined appearance)
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 onyx

mid-13c., from Old French oniche "onyx" (12c.), and directly from Latin onyx (genitive onychis), from Greek onyx "onyx-stone," originally "claw, fingernail" (see nail (n.)). So called because the mineral's color sometimes resembles that of a fingernail, pink with white streaks.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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onyx in Medicine

onyx on·yx (ŏn'ĭks)

  1. See unguis.

  2. A collection of pus in the anterior chamber of the eye.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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onyx in Science
A type of chalcedony that occurs in straight and parallel bands of different colors, often black and white.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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onyx in the Bible

a hail; claw; hoof, (Heb. shoham), a precious stone adorning the breast-plate of the high priest and the shoulders of the ephod (Ex. 28:9-12, 20; 35:27; Job 28:16; Ezek. 28:13). It was found in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:12). The LXX. translates the Hebrew word by smaragdos, an emerald. Some think that the sardonyx is meant. But the onyx differs from the sardonyx in this, that while the latter has two layers (black and white) the former has three (black, white, and red).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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