[bal-uh s, bey-luh s]

Origin of balas

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin balasius, variant of balascius < Arabic balakhsh, back formation from Persian Badakhshān, district near Samarkand, where gem is found
Also called balas ruby.


noun Douay Bible.
  1. Bilhah. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for balas

Historical Examples of balas

  • Page 167, line 67, and seq.—'Carbuncle and Balas ruby,' etc.

    Parzival (vol. 2 of 2)

    Wolfram von Eschenback

  • But in the battle in which Balas was overthrown, the Egyptian king also received his death wound.

    A Manual of Ancient History

    A. H. L. (Arnold Hermann Ludwig) Heeren

  • Egypt was the defeat and downfal of Balas, although it cost Philometor his life.

    A Manual of Ancient History

    A. H. L. (Arnold Hermann Ludwig) Heeren

  • And yet his work stands out from the ruck of the contemporary versifiers as a balas ruby among carrots.

    Martin Eden

    Jack London

  • Balas, a name used to distinguish the rose-coloured species of ruby from the ruby proper.

British Dictionary definitions for balas


  1. a red variety of spinel, used as a gemstoneAlso called: balas ruby

Word Origin for balas

C15: from Old French balais, from Arabic bālakhsh, from Badhakhshān, region in Afghanistan where the gem is found


  1. Lake Bala a narrow lake in Gwynedd: the largest natural lake in Wales. Length: 6 km (4 miles)
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