[ lap-i-der-ee ]
/ ˈlæp ɪˌdɛr i /
Save This Word!

noun, plural lap·i·dar·ies.
Also lap·i·dist [lap-i-dist]. /ˈlæp ɪ dɪst/. a worker who cuts, polishes, and engraves precious stones.
Also la·pid·ar·ist [luh-pid-er-ist]. /ləˈpɪd ər ɪst/. an expert in precious stones and the art or techniques used in cutting and engraving them.
the art of cutting, polishing, and engraving precious stones.
an old book on the lore of gems.
adjective Also lap·i·dar·i·an [lap-i-dair-ee-uhn]. /ˌlæp ɪˈdɛər i ən/.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of lapidary

1325–75; Middle English lapidarie (noun) <Latin lapidārius of stone (adj.), stone-cutter (noun), equivalent to lapid- (stem of lapis) stone + -ārius-ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lapidary in a sentence

  • The accompanying figure is from the Lapidarian Gallery of the Vatican.

    The Catacombs of Rome|William Henry Withrow
  • The following, from the Lapidarian Gallery, indicates the trade of a carpenter.

    The Catacombs of Rome|William Henry Withrow
  • Few English writers have so lapidarian a style of writing as Mrs. Craigie, and few such a capacity for writing epigrams.

    The Spirit of the Ghetto|Hutchins Hapgood

British Dictionary definitions for lapidary

/ (ˈlæpɪdərɪ) /

noun plural -daries
a person whose business is to cut, polish, set, or deal in gemstones
of or relating to gemstones or the work of a lapidary
Also: lapidarian (ˌlæpɪˈdɛərɪən) engraved, cut, or inscribed in a stone or gemstone
of sufficiently high quality to be engraved on a stonea lapidary inscription

Derived forms of lapidary

lapidarian, adjective

Word Origin for lapidary

C14: from Latin lapidārius, from lapid-, lapis stone
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