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opal

[oh-puh l] /ˈoʊ pəl/
noun
1.
a mineral, an amorphous form of silica, SiO 2 with some water of hydration, found in many varieties and colors, including a form that is milky white.
2.
an iridescent variety of this that is used as a gem.
3.
a gem of this.
Origin of opal
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin opalus < Greek opállios opal, gem; probably from a source akin to Sanskrit upala precious stone

Opal

[oh-puh l] /ˈoʊ pəl/
noun
1.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for opal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The hues of the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be seen if the eye is too near.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • She was like an opal—all sparkle when you move it, and at rest dull, most undeniably dull.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • To live in Venice is like being domesticated in the heart of an opal.

    Italy, the Magic Land Lilian Whiting
  • The top of the mountain, like that of Shasta, in direct sunlight is an opal.

  • There was also an Australian opal and an Asian emerald, the latter greener than the grass.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • The moon, ringed by a halo, shone like an opal in the milk-white sky.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
British Dictionary definitions for opal

opal

/ˈəʊpəl/
noun
1.
an amorphous, usually iridescent, mineral that can be of almost any colour, found in igneous rocks and around hot springs. It is used as a gemstone. Composition: hydrated silica. Formula: SiO2.nH2O
Derived Forms
opal-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin opalus, from Greek opallios, from Sanskrit upala precious stone
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 opal
n.

1590s, from Middle French opalle (16c.), from Latin opalus (Pliny), supposedly from Greek opallios, possibly ultimately from Sanskrit upala-s "gem, precious stone." Used in Middle English in Latin form (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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opal in Science
opal
  (ō'pəl)   
A usually transparent mineral consisting of hydrous silica. Opal can occur in almost any color, but it is often pinkish white with a milky or pearly appearance. It typically forms within cracks in igneous rocks, in limestones, and in mineral veins. It also occurs in the silica-rich shells of certain marine organisms. Chemical formula: SiO2·nH2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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