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Origin of crystal-clear
Words nearby crystal-clear
What does crystal-clear mean?
Crystal-clear literally means completely clear—often meaning you can see right through it.
Crystal is a type of mineral or glass that’s clear—it resembles ice. When crystal-clear is used in this way, it often describes things like perfectly clear water.
But it can also describe things that have perfect clarity—a TV might be said to have a crystal-clear picture, for example. Even things that aren’t visual might be said to be crystal-clear in this way, as in These headphones provide crystal-clear sound.
Crystal-clear can also be used figuratively to mean extremely easy to understand—meaning there’s nothing at all confusing about it. This sense of the word is often used to describe things like instructions or a piece of writing.
Crystal-clear can be used with or without a hyphen. It’s often used with a hyphen when it comes before the thing it describes, as in crystal-clear glass, and without a hyphen when it follows the thing it describes, as in the glass was crystal clear.
The phrase clear as crystal means the same thing as both senses of crystal-clear. A close synonym for both senses of the word is transparent.
Example: These crystal-clear cleaning instructions will give you crystal-clear windows in no time!
Where does crystal-clear come from?
The first records of the term crystal-clear come from around the 1500s. The word crystal ultimately derives from the Greek krýstallos, meaning “ice” or referring to the clear kind of rock. This word comes from the Greek verb krystaínein, meaning “to freeze.” The word clear has been used since the 1200s, and it’s been used to mean “easy to understand” for just about as long as it’s been used to mean “transparent.”
When a body of water is described as crystal-clear, it means you can see right to the bottom because it’s completely transparent—it has no cloudiness. Similarly, crystal-clear instructions are easily understandable because they’re transparent—they have nothing in them that could cause confusion. Crystal-clear essentially means “as clear as possible.” That’s what you mean when you use it to answer when someone asks, “Have I made myself clear?”
The opposite is opaque, literally meaning “not transparent.” This can be used to describe something that you can’t see through or that you can’t easily understand because it’s confusing.
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What are some other forms related to crystal-clear?
- crystal clear (without a hyphen)
What are some synonyms for crystal-clear?
What are some words that share a root or word element with crystal-clear?
What are some words that often get used in discussing crystal-clear?
How is crystal-clear used in real life?
Crystal-clear is commonly used both literally and figuratively.
It’s not every day a #dugong sidles up to say g’day! 👋
IG/bluemediaexmouth was lucky enough to swim beside two of these curious creatures in the crystal clear waters of #NingalooReef in @WestAustralia's #AustraliaCoralCoast.#seeaustralia #thisisWA #wanderoutyonder pic.twitter.com/76HGsmCLEm
— Australia (@Australia) July 4, 2020
Want to enjoy your favorite shows in utmost clarity? Get Kodak High Definition LED Smart TV & experience crystal-clear picture quality. pic.twitter.com/UpjGw9WkMX
— KODAK TV India (@kodaktvindia) November 29, 2016
Why is the UK getting updates on measures to be taken to contain a global pandemic through journalists who cite anonymous “sources?”
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) March 15, 2020
Try using crystal-clear!
Is crystal-clear used correctly in the following sentence?
The crystal-clear homework instructions were extremely convoluted and everyone was very confused by them.
Example sentences from the Web for crystal-clear
Television has gone high tech with big screens, crystal-clear pictures, and concert-hall audio.Five Lessons the Faltering Music Industry Could Learn From TV|Ted Gioia|August 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Senator Hagel made a crystal-clear promise that he would do 'whatever it takes' to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
The Vancouver performance thus becomes a crystal-clear metaphor for every other promise of the Putin era.
That he had picked up a talent for that dazzling style, so sweet to the ear, so damnably persuasive, so crystal-clear!A Book of Prefaces|H. L. Mencken
The Nemorian lake, with its crystal-clear waters, reflects the faces 126of those that look into it, and fills a deep basin.
Every few hundred yards they saw grass ponds, or little sandy-bottomed lakes of crystal-clear water.The Boy Chums in the Florida Jungle|Wilmer M. Ely
Rhoda wandered to the wishing well, peering down into the crystal-clear water.The Wishing Well|Mildred A. Wirt
The place was like a great big greenhouse, all made of glass, only the glass was sheets of crystal-clear ice.The Story of a Nodding Donkey|Laura Lee Hope