• synonyms

lapis lazuli

[lap-is laz-oo-lee, -lahy, laz-yoo-, lazh-oo-]
  1. a deep-blue mineral composed mainly of lazurite with smaller quantities of other minerals, used mainly as a gem or as a pigment.
  2. a sky-blue color; azure.
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Origin of lapis lazuli

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin, equivalent to Latin lapis stone + Medieval Latin lazulī, genitive of lazulum lapis lazuli; see azure
Also called lapis, lazuli.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lapis lazuli

Historical Examples

  • The hills, crowned with palms, embraced a sea as deeply blue as lapis-lazuli.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • They reached the terrace; they descended the sparkling steps of lapis-lazuli.

    Ixion In Heaven

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • He was the same man who had brought me the heart of lapis-lazuli, or his double.

  • By the jewels of lapis-lazuli which are upon my neck I will not forget!

  • In the boudoirs of the sultanas they were sometimes of verd-antique, and incrusted with lapis-lazuli.

British Dictionary definitions for lapis lazuli

lapis lazuli


  1. a brilliant blue variety of the mineral lazurite, used as a gemstone
  2. the deep blue colour of lapis lazuli
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Also: lapis

Word Origin

C14: from Latin lapis stone + Medieval Latin lazulī, from lazulum, from Arabic lāzaward, from Persian lāzhuward, of obscure 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 lapis lazuli


early 15c., from Middle Latin lapis lazuli, literally "stone of azure," from Latin lapis "stone" + Medieval Latin lazuli, genitive of lazulum, from Arabic lazuward (see azure).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper