amethyst

[am-uh-thist]

noun

a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem.
a purplish tint.

adjective

having the color of amethyst.
containing or set with an amethyst or amethysts: an amethyst brooch.

Nearby words

  1. amesace,
  2. amesbury,
  3. amesha spenta,
  4. ameslan,
  5. ametabolic,
  6. ametria,
  7. ametrometer,
  8. ametropia,
  9. amex,
  10. amf

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for amethyst


British Dictionary definitions for amethyst

amethyst

noun

a purple or violet transparent variety of quartz used as a gemstone. Formula: SiO 2
a purple variety of sapphire; oriental amethyst
the purple colour of amethyst
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

amethyst

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for amethyst

amethyst

[ămə-thĭst]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.