[ am-uh-thist ]
See synonyms for amethyst on
  1. a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem.

  2. a purplish tint.

  1. having the color of amethyst.

  2. containing or set with an amethyst or amethysts: an amethyst brooch.

Origin of amethyst

First recorded in 1250–1300; from Latin amethystus, from 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, adjective suffix; replacing Middle English ametist, from Anglo-French, ametiste, from Latin

Other words from amethyst

  • am·e·thys·tine [am-uh-this-tin, -tahyn], /ˌæm əˈθɪs tɪn, -taɪn/, adjective
  • am·e·thyst·like, adjective

Words Nearby amethyst Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use amethyst in a sentence

  • She looked down at the logs—smouldering now and with no more flame of rose-pink and amethyst.

    A Butterfly on the Wheel | Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • The amethyst glow went off the hills that ring our valley, and a far blue peak faded into the gathering 65 dusk.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • And she wore the Medici boots, the amethyst tips peeping beneath her shining dress.

    The Medici Boots | Pearl Norton Swet
  • The pageant of autumn on our hills was 263 over, only an amethyst haze succeeding at sunset time.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton

British Dictionary definitions for amethyst


/ (ˈæmɪθɪst) /

  1. a purple or violet transparent variety of quartz used as a gemstone. Formula: SiO 2

  2. a purple variety of sapphire; oriental amethyst

  1. the purple colour of amethyst

Origin of 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

Derived forms of amethyst

  • amethystine (ˌæmɪˈθɪstaɪn), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for amethyst


[ ămə-thĭst ]

  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.

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