[ kahr-neel-yuh n ]
/ kɑrˈnil yən /


a red or reddish variety of chalcedony, used in jewelry.
Also cornelian.

Origin of carnelian

1685–95; variant (with a of carnation) of cornelian, Middle English cornel(ine) (< Middle French, probably equivalent to Old French cornele cornel cherry + -ine -ine1) + -ian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carnelian

British Dictionary definitions for carnelian


/ (kɑːˈniːljən) /


a red or reddish-yellow translucent variety of chalcedony, used as a gemstone

Word Origin for carnelian

C17: variant of cornelian, from Old French corneline, of uncertain origin; car- spelling influenced by Latin carneus flesh-coloured
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 carnelian



"red variety of chalcedony," variant of cornelian, altered by influence of Latin carnem "flesh" because of its color.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper