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[too r-muh-lin, -leen] /ˈtʊər mə lɪn, -ˌlin/
any of a group of silicate minerals of complex composition, containing boron, aluminum, etc., usually black but having various colored, transparent varieties used as gems.
Also, tourmalin
[too r-muh-lin] /ˈtʊər mə lɪn/ (Show IPA),
Origin of tourmaline
1750-60; earlier tourmalin < German Turmalin, ultimately < Sinhalese tōramalliya carnelian; see -in2
Related forms
[too r-muh-lin-ik] /ˌtʊər məˈlɪn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tourmaline
Historical Examples
  • The "tourmaline's" men appeared highly delighted at our defeat.

    In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith
  • This plate of tourmaline can be turned round by the observer.

    The Story of the Heavens Robert Stawell Ball
  • I can't resist this tourmaline, and have carried it off with me.

    Chats in the Book-Room Horace N. Pym
  • Rutile is much lighter, 4·2, and the streak light-brown; tourmaline is only 3·2.

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
  • Of these minerals, beryl, garnet and tourmaline are the most abundant.

  • The locket was made of tourmaline, which has mysterious properties.

  • "I did not choose to be the Queen," answered tourmaline, simply.

    Sky Island L. Frank Baum
  • tourmaline smiled and shook her head, while all the Counselors murmured their protests.

    Sky Island L. Frank Baum
  • "The case is decided," announced tourmaline, in a clear, cold voice.

    Sky Island L. Frank Baum
  • Two Nicol prisms play the same part as the two plates of tourmaline.

    Six Lectures on Light John Tyndall
British Dictionary definitions for tourmaline


any of a group of hard glassy minerals of variable colour consisting of complex borosilicates of aluminium with quantities of lithium, sodium, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium in hexagonal crystalline form: used in optical and electrical equipment and in jewellery
Derived Forms
tourmalinic (ˌtʊəməˈlɪnɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from German Turmalin, from Sinhalese toramalli carnelian
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 tourmaline

complete silicate of aluminum and boron, 1759, ultimately from Sinhalese toramalli, a general name for cornelian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tourmaline in Science
  (tr'mə-lĭn, -lēn')   
Any of several minerals having the general chemical formula (Na,Ca)(Mg,Fe,Al,Li)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)4. Tourmaline occurs in many different translucent colors, usually in crystals shaped like 3-, 6-, or 9-sided prisms. It occurs in igneous and metamorphic rocks, especially in pegmatites.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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