[kab-uh-shon; French ka-baw-shawn]

noun, plural cab·o·chons [kab-uh-shonz; French ka-baw-shawn] /ˈkæb əˌʃɒnz; French ka bɔˈʃɔ̃/.

a precious stone of convex hemispherical or oval form, polished but not cut into facets.
an ornamental motif resembling this, either concave or convex and often surrounded by ornately carved leaf patterns, used on furniture of the 18th century.


in the form of a cabochon: a turquoise cut cabochon.


being cut cabochon: cabochon gems.

Origin of cabochon

1570–80; < Middle French, equivalent to caboche head (see cabbage1) + -on diminutive suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cabochon

Historical Examples of cabochon

  • I make a point of having a cabochon emerald: I collect them.'

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • As you walk around them they glow in lights and shades like a Cabochon emerald.

    The Oriental Rug

    William D. Ellwanger

  • Otherwise, as Mr. Cabochon judiciously says, why have the stones reset at all?

  • Its surface is pierced with holes arranged in rose-shaped patterns, and set with large pearls and cabochon sapphires.


    H. Clifford Smith,

  • The Loch Buy brooch, of more elaborate workmanship, is likewise surmounted by a cabochon crystal on a raised dais.


    H. Clifford Smith,

British Dictionary definitions for cabochon



a smooth domed gem, polished but unfaceted

Word Origin for cabochon

C16: from Old French, from Old Norman French caboche head; see cabbage 1
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 cabochon

1570s, from French cabochon (14c.), augmentative of caboche (12c.), augmentative or pejorative formation, ultimately from Latin caput "head" (see capitulum). Essentially the same word as cabbage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper