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  1. 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.
  2. a deep-red color.

Origin of garnet

1275–1325; Middle English garnet, gernate < Old French gernate, grenade < Latin grānātum granular; cf. pomegranate
Related formsgar·net·like, adjective


  1. Henry Highland,1815–82, U.S. clergyman and abolitionist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for garnet


  1. 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 Formsgarnet-like, adjective

Word Origin for garnet

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


  1. 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

Word Origin and History for garnet

early 14c., metathesized from Old French grenat "garnet," originally an adjective, "of a dark red color," from Medieval Latin granatum, originally an adjective, "of dark red color," perhaps abstracted from pomegranate (q.v.), from the stone's resemblance either to the shape of the seeds or the color of the pulp. But perhaps the word is from Medieval Latin granum "grain," in its sense of "cochineal, red dye."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

garnet in Science


  1. 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.