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[toh-paz] /ˈtoʊ pæz/
a mineral, a fluosilicate of aluminum, usually occurring in prismatic orthorhombic crystals of various colors, and used as a gem.
citrine (def 2).
either of two South American hummingbirds, Topaza pella or T. pyra, having chiefly red and crimson plumage and a yellowish-green throat with a topaz sheen.
Origin of topaz
1225-75; < Latin topazus < Greek tópazos; replacing Middle English topace < Old French < Latin, as above
Related forms
[toh-puh-zeen, -zin] /ˈtoʊ pəˌzin, -zɪn/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for topaz
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The eyes were clear in colour as a dark topaz, and full of topaz light.

    A Soldier of the Legion C. N. Williamson
  • The topaz humming-bird is perhaps the most resplendent and beautiful of its tribe.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • They were not exactly hazel either,—they reminded one of a topaz.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • And there in a row were our three pale-haired storm-waifs with the topaz eyes.

  • I have two, named Huz and Buz, and their mother is topaz, because she has yellow eyes.

    Little Men Louisa May Alcott
  • I tried to make topaz, but she did not like the water, and scratched me.

    Little Men Louisa May Alcott
  • Now it is a ruby, now a topaz, now an emerald, now all burnished gold.

  • She was standing fastening clusters of topaz in the bosom of her dress.

British Dictionary definitions for topaz


a white or colourless mineral often tinted by impurities, found in cavities in igneous rocks and in quartz veins. It is used as a gemstone. Composition: hydrated aluminium silicate. Formula: Al2SiO4(F,OH)2. Crystal structure: orthorhombic
oriental topaz, a yellowish-brown variety of sapphire
false topaz, another name for citrine
  1. a yellowish-brown colour, as in some varieties of topaz
  2. (as adjective): topaz eyes
either of two South American hummingbirds, Topaza pyra and T. pella
Word Origin
C13: from Old French topaze, from Latin topazus, from Greek topazos
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 topaz

colored crystalline gem, late 13c., from Old French topace (11c.), from Latin topazus, from Greek topazos, topazion, of obscure origin. Pliny says it was named for a remote island in the Red or Arabian Sea, where it was mined, but this might be folk etymology from Greek topazein "to divine, to try to locate;" linguists conjecture a connection with Sanskrit tapas "heat, fire." In the Middle Ages used for almost any yellow stone. To the Greeks and Romans, possibly yellow olivine or yellow sapphire. In modern science, fluo-silicate of aluminum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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topaz in Science
  1. A colorless, blue, yellow, brown, or pink orthorhombic mineral valued as a gem. Topaz occurs as transparent or translucent prisms in silica-rich igneous rocks, such as pegmatite, and in tin-bearing rock veins. Chemical formula: Al2SiO4(F,OH)2.

  2. Any of various yellow gemstones, especially a yellow variety of sapphire or corundum.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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