either of two minerals, jadeite or nephrite, sometimes green, highly esteemed as an ornamental stone for carvings, jewelry, etc.
an object, as a carving, made from this material.
Also called jade green. green, varying from bluish green to yellowish green.

Origin of jade

1585–95; < French < Italian giada < obsolete Spanish (piedra de) ijada (stone of) colic < Vulgar Latin *iliata, equivalent to Latin īli(a) flanks (see ilium) + -ata -ate1; so called because supposed to cure nephritic colic
Related formsjade·like, adjective




a worn-out, broken-down, worthless, or vicious horse.
a disreputable or ill-tempered woman.

verb (used with or without object), jad·ed, jad·ing.

to make or become dull, worn-out, or weary, as from overwork or overuse.

Origin of jade

1350–1400; Middle English; of obscure origin
Related formsjad·ish, adjectivejad·ish·ly, adverbjad·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jade

Contemporary Examples of jade

Historical Examples of jade

  • A man who entrusts his heart to a woman has a jade for his banker.


    William J. Locke

  • That jade of yours, Toinette, has grown more insolent than ever.

  • Then round about him the Herd Boy saw forests of chrysophrase and trees of jade.

  • The jade had to come to him, at last, completely subdued, as in the “Taming of the Shrew.”

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • I held the crystal globe in one hand and the jade talisman in the other.

British Dictionary definitions for jade




  1. a semiprecious stone consisting of either jadeite or nephrite. It varies in colour from white to green and is used for making ornaments and jewellery
  2. (as modifier)jade ornaments
  1. the green colour of jade
  2. (as modifier)a jade skirt
Derived Formsjadelike, adjective

Word Origin for jade

C18: from French, from Italian giada, from obsolete Spanish piedra de ijada colic stone (literally: stone of the flank, because it was believed to cure renal colic); ijada, from Vulgar Latin īliata (unattested) flanks, from Latin īlia, plural of īlium; see ileum




an old overworked horse; nag; hack
derogatory, or facetious a woman considered to be ill-tempered or disreputable


to exhaust or make exhausted from work or use
Derived Formsjadish, adjectivejadishly, adverbjadishness, noun

Word Origin for jade

C14: of unknown origin
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 jade

ornamental stone, 1721, earlier iada (1590s), from French le jade, error for earlier l'ejade, from Spanish piedra de (la) ijada (1560s), "stone of colic, pain in the side" (jade was thought to cure this), from Vulgar Latin *iliata, from Latin ilia (plural) "flanks, kidney area" (see ileum).


"worn-out horse," late 14c., "cart horse," of uncertain origin. Barnhart suggests a variant of yaid, yald "whore," literally "mare," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse jalda "mare," from Finno-Ugric (cf. Mordvin al'd'a "mare"). But OED finds the assumption of a Scandinavian connection "without reason." As a term of abuse for a woman, it dates from 1550s.


"to weary, tire out, make dull," c.1600, from jade (n.2). Related: Jaded; jading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jade in Science



A hard gemstone that is pale green or white and consists either of the mineral jadeite (a pyroxene) or the mineral nephrite (an amphibole). It usually forms within metamorphic rocks.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.