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[roo-bee] /ˈru bi/
noun, plural rubies.
a red variety of corundum, used as a gem.
something made of this stone or one of its imitations, as a bearing in a watch.
a deep-red port wine.
deep red; carmine.
(initial capital letter) Digital Technology. an open-source, high-level programming language that is purely object-oriented.
British Printing. a 5½-point type, nearly corresponding in size to American agate.
ruby lips.
containing or set or adorned with a ruby or rubies:
a ruby necklace.
Origin of ruby
1275-1325; Middle English rubi (noun) from Old French, from Old Provençal robi(n), from Medieval Latin rubīnus (lapis) “red (stone),” derivative of Latin ruber, rubeus red1
Related forms
rubylike, adjective


[roo-bee] /ˈru bi/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ruby
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a pen the nibs of which were of ruby, set in gold, made by Doughty.

  • I ain't hired him to loaf 'round all day with ruby and to sulk when she's gone.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • I did all I could to make ruby's visit a happy one—don't you know I did?

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • I cottoned to ye fust time I see ye, and so did ruby, and we still do.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • I ain't got nobody but you, ruby—don't go 'way from me, child—stay with me.'

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
British Dictionary definitions for ruby


noun (pl) -bies
a deep red transparent precious variety of corundum: occurs naturally in Myanmar and Sri Lanka but is also synthesized. It is used as a gemstone, in lasers, and for bearings and rollers in watchmaking. Formula: Al2O3
  1. the deep-red colour of a ruby
  2. (as adjective): ruby lips
  1. something resembling, made of, or containing a ruby
  2. (as modifier): ruby necklace
(modifier) denoting a fortieth anniversary: our ruby wedding
(formerly) a size of printer's type approximately equal to 51/2 point
Derived Forms
ruby-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French rubi, from Latin rubeus reddish, from ruber red
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 ruby

"clear rich-red variety of corundum," c.1300, from Old French rubi (12c.), from Medieval Latin rubinus lapis "red stone" (cf. Italian rubino), from Latin rubeus "red," related to ruber (see red). As a color name from 1570s. As an adjective from late 15c. Modern French rubis is not explained; Klein suggests a plural mistaken for singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ruby in Science
A deep-red, translucent variety of the mineral corundum, containing small amounts of chromium and valued as a gem. Compare sapphire.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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