[kris-tl-in, -ahyn, -een]


of or like crystal; clear; transparent.
formed by crystallization.
composed of crystals.
pertaining to crystals or their formation.

Origin of crystalline

1350–1400; Middle English cristal(l)yn(e) < Latin crystallinus < Greek krystállinos. See crystal, -ine1
Related formscrys·tal·lin·i·ty [kris-tl-in-i-tee] /ˌkrɪs tlˈɪn ɪ ti/, nounmul·ti·crys·tal·line, adjectivenon·crys·tal·line, adjectivepre·crys·tal·line, adjectivepseu·do·crys·tal·line, adjectivesub·crys·tal·line, adjectiveun·crys·tal·line, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crystalline

lucid, translucent, sparkling, clear, limpid, pellucid, transparent

Examples from the Web for crystalline

Contemporary Examples of crystalline

Historical Examples of crystalline

British Dictionary definitions for crystalline



having the characteristics or structure of crystals
consisting of or containing crystals
made of or like crystal; transparent; clear
Derived Formscrystallinity (ˌkrɪstəˈlɪnɪtɪ), noun
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 crystalline

late 14c., from Old French cristalin "like crystal" (Modern French crystallin), from Latin crystallinus, from Greek krystallinos "of crystal," from krystallos (see crystal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

crystalline in Medicine


[krĭstə-lĭn, -līn′, -lēn′]


Being, relating to, or composed of crystal or crystals.
Resembling crystal, as in transparency or distinctness of structure or outline.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

crystalline in Science



A homogenous solid formed by a repeating, three-dimensional pattern of atoms, ions, or molecules and having smooth external surfaces with characteristic angles between them. Crystals can occur in many sizes and shapes.♦ The particular arrangement in space of these atoms, molecules, or ions, and the way in which they are joined, is called a crystal lattice. There are seven crystal groups or systems. Each is defined on the basis of the geometrical arrangement of the crystal lattice.
  1. A natural or synthetic material, such as quartz or ceramic, that consists of such crystals. When subjected to mechanical stresses, crystalline materials can generate an electric charge or, when subjected to an electric field, they can generate mechanical vibrations in what is known as the piezoelectric effect.
  2. An electrical device, such as an oscillator or a diode used for detecting radio signals, made of such a material.
Related formscrystalline adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.