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See more synonyms for amethyst on Thesaurus.com
  1. a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem.
  2. a purplish tint.
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  1. having the color of amethyst.
  2. containing or set with an amethyst or amethysts: an amethyst brooch.
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Origin of amethyst

1250–1300; < Latin amethystus < Greek améthystos not intoxicating, not intoxicated (so called from a belief that it prevented drunkenness), equivalent to a- a-6 + methys- (variant stem of methýein to intoxicate; see methylene) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; replacing Middle English ametist < Anglo-French ametiste < Latin
Related formsam·e·thys·tine [am-uh-this-tin, -tahyn] /ˌæm əˈθɪs tɪn, -taɪn/, adjectiveam·e·thyst·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for amethyst

color, mauve, plum, lilac, lavender, periwinkle, violet, heliotrope, pomegranate, mulberry, amethyst, magenta, wine, orchid, amaranthine, perse, violaceous

Examples from the Web for amethyst

Contemporary Examples of amethyst

Historical Examples of amethyst

  • He wondered who had been inspired to dress her in that white and amethyst combination.

    Glory of Youth

    Temple Bailey

  • At her throat, she had a cameo, and on her left hand, an amethyst set in tiny pearls.


    Holworthy Hall

  • She had dropped the amethyst, by some incomprehensible mischance.

    Earth's Enigmas

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • On the distant heights the gray deepened gradually to amethyst.

    The Child of Pleasure

    Gabriele D'Annunzio

  • Thorvald with the amethyst of heavy Warlockian foliage at his back.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

British Dictionary definitions for amethyst


  1. a purple or violet transparent variety of quartz used as a gemstone. Formula: SiO 2
  2. a purple variety of sapphire; oriental amethyst
  3. the purple colour of amethyst
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Derived Formsamethystine (ˌæmɪˈθɪstaɪn), adjective

Word Origin for amethyst

C13: from Old French amatiste, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethustos, literally: not drunken, from a- 1 + methuein to make drunk; referring to the belief that the stone could prevent intoxication
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

Word Origin and History for amethyst


violet quartz, late 13c., ametist, from Old French ametiste (Modern French améthyste) and directly from Medieval Latin amatistus, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos "amethyst," literally "not intoxicating," from a- "not" + methyskein "make drunk," from methys "wine" (see mead (n.1)); based on the stone's ancient reputation for preventing drunkenness, which was perhaps sympathetic magic suggested by its wine-like color. People wore rings made of it before drinking. Spelling restored from Middle English ametist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amethyst in Science


  1. A purple or violet, transparent form of quartz used as a gemstone. The color is caused by the presence of iron compounds in the crystal structure.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.