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[sem-ee-presh-uh s, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈprɛʃ əs, ˌsɛm aɪ-/
(of a stone) having commercial value as a gem but not classified as precious, as the amethyst or garnet.
Origin of semiprecious
1885-90; semi- + precious Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for semiprecious
Historical Examples
  • Upon this last they set the equally brilliant helmet, adorned with semiprecious stones.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • Stones and ores, some semiprecious, have come from all parts of the world to be patterned into this bright-colored shrine.

    North Dakota Various
  • The bulk of this semiprecious metal goes to Navarro & Platt.

    The Trimmed Lamp O. Henry
  • The interior is exquisite with lacelike carvings inlaid with semiprecious stones.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • They're beautiful, as you see, but they're not particularly valuable; only semiprecious.

    Average Jones Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Certain transparent colored varieties of tourmaline rank high among the semiprecious stones.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Some special varieties of feldspar are cut or polished for semiprecious stones or decorative purposes.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • A precious gemstone has beauty, durability, and rarity, whereas a semiprecious gemstone has only one or two of these qualities.

British Dictionary definitions for semiprecious


(of certain stones) having commercial value, but less than a 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 semiprecious

also semi-precious, 1818, from semi- + precious (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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