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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.
How to use crystal-clear in a sentence
The story of fluoridation reads like a postmodern fable, and the moral is clear: a scientific discovery might seem like a boon.
But the tide was turning on this issue, an email from another constituent made clear.
The use of slurs from both characters makes it clear just how “new” the idea of an openly gay son is even in this time.‘Empire’ Review: Hip-Hop Musical Chairs with an Insane Soap Opera Twist|Judnick Mayard|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Instead, straighten your civic backbone and push back in clear conscience.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too|John Avlon|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
He made clear that he fully appreciated what the cops had done.
It separates into three layers upon standing—a brown deposit, a clear fluid, and a frothy layer.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
However this be, it is hard to say that these fibs have that clear intention to deceive which constitutes a complete lie.Children's Ways|James Sully
Knowing by experience that he would soon be up to it, he used his pole with all his might, hoping to steer clear of it.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
I am pleading for a clear white light of education that shall go like the sun round the whole world.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
Is the Bible revelation so clear and explicit that no difference of opinion as to its meaning is possible?God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford