[ gahr-nit ]
/ ˈgɑr nɪt /
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any of a group of hard, vitreous minerals, silicates of calcium, magnesium, iron, or manganese with aluminum or iron, varying in color: a deep-red transparent variety is used as a gem and as an abrasive.
a deep-red color.
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Origin of garnet

1275–1325; Middle English garnet, gernate<Old French gernate, grenade<Latin grānātum granular; cf. pomegranate


gar·net·like, adjective

Other definitions for garnet (2 of 2)

[ gahr-nit ]
/ ˈgɑr nɪt /

Henry Highland, 1815–82, U.S. clergyman and abolitionist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does garnet mean?

A garnet is a deep-red transparent gemstone.

This is just one type of garnet, which is a type of mineral. Garnet can also be brown, black, green, or yellow, and some kinds are opaque (nontransparent). Still, the name garnet is most popularly associated with the glassy red gemstone, and the word garnet can also be used to refer to a deep-red color.

Garnet gems are traditionally considered semiprecious, which is a label applied to a class of gems that have commercial value but one that is less than that of stones labeled precious. However, garnets can cost much more than some precious stones.

Garnet is the traditional birthstone for the month of January. It is also associated with the zodiac signs Capricorn and Aquarius.

Along with its use in jewelry and other decorative uses, garnet is also used as an abrasive, which is a material used for grinding or polishing. For example, garnet paper is a kind of sandpaper made with crushed garnet.

Example: My mom gave me a necklace with a garnet pendant for my birthday.

Where does garnet come from?

The first records of the word garnet come from around 1300. It comes from the Old French grenat, from grenat, meaning “red,” from pome grenate, referring to the pomegranate. In this phrase, pome means “apple” and grenate means “seedy,” ultimately coming from the Latin grānātum, meaning “granular” or “seedy.” The pomegranate was called a “seedy apple” in reference to its many jewellike seed pods, and the garnet gem is thought to have been named for its resemblance to these, though this isn’t known for certain.

Garnet is usually formed in metamorphic rock but can also occur in igneous and sedimentary rock. It can be made up of a combination of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, aluminum, and chromium.

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What are some other forms related to garnet?

  • garnetlike (adjective)

What are some words that share a root or word element with garnet

What are some words that often get used in discussing garnet?


How is garnet used in real life?

Most people know garnet as the dark red gem that’s the January birthstone.



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True or False? 

Garnet is traditionally considered a semiprecious gem.

How to use garnet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for garnet (1 of 2)

/ (ˈɡɑːnɪt) /

any of a group of hard glassy red, yellow, or green minerals consisting of the silicates of calcium, iron, manganese, chromium, magnesium, and aluminium in cubic crystalline form: used as a gemstone and abrasive. Formula: A 3 B 2 (SiO 4) 3 where A is a divalent metal and B is a trivalent metal

Derived forms of garnet

garnet-like, adjective

Word Origin for garnet

C13: from Old French grenat, from grenat (adj) red, from pome grenate pomegranate

British Dictionary definitions for garnet (2 of 2)

/ (ˈɡɑːnɪt) /

nautical a tackle used for lifting cargo

Word Origin for garnet

C15: probably from Middle Dutch garnaat
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

Scientific definitions for garnet

[ gärnĭt ]

Any of several common red, brown, black, green, or yellow minerals having the general chemical formula A3B2SiO8, where A is either calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), or manganese (Mn) and B is either aluminum (Al), manganese, iron, chromium (Cr), or vanadium (V). Garnet crystals are dodecahedral in shape, transparent to semitransparent, and have a vitreous luster. They usually occur in metamorphic rocks but also occur in igneous and sedimentary rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.