• synonyms


[em-er-uh ld, em-ruh ld]
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  1. a rare variety of beryl that is colored green by chromium and valued as a gem.
  2. emerald green.
  3. Printing. (in Britain) a 6½-point type of a size between nonpareil and minion.
  4. Ornithology. any of numerous small bright green hummingbirds of the genus Chlorostilbon.
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  1. having a clear, deep-green color.
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Origin of emerald

1250–1300; Middle English emeraude, emeralde < Anglo-French, Old French esmeraude, esmeralde, esmeragde < Latin smaragdus < Greek smáragdos; probably ultimately < Semitic b-r-q shine (≫ Sanskrit marāk(a)la emerald)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for emerald

beryl, forest, moss, olive, jade, sage, kelly, lime, verdigris, vert, viridian, bice, spinach, malachite, chartreuse

Examples from the Web for emerald

Contemporary Examples of emerald

Historical Examples of emerald

British Dictionary definitions for emerald


  1. a green transparent variety of beryl: highly valued as a gem
    1. the clear green colour of an emerald
    2. (as adjective)an emerald carpet
  2. (formerly) a size of printer's type approximately equal to 6 1/2 point
  3. short for emerald moth
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Word Origin for emerald

C13: from Old French esmeraude, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos; related to Sanskrit marakata emerald
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 emerald


"bright green precious stone," c.1300, emeraude, from Old French esmeraude (12c.), from Medieval Latin esmaraldus, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos "green gem" (emerald or malachite), from Semitic baraq "shine" (cf. Hebrew bareqeth "emerald," Arabic barq "lightning").

Sanskrit maragdam "emerald" is from the same source, as is Persian zumurrud, whence Turkish zümrüd, source of Russian izumrud "emerald."

In early examples the word, like most other names of precious stones, is of vague meaning; the mediæval references to the stone are often based upon the descriptions given by classical writers of the smaragdus, the identity of which with our emerald is doubtful. [OED]

Emerald Isle for "Ireland" is from 1795.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

emerald in Science


  1. A transparent, green form of the mineral beryl. It is valued as a gem.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.