• synonyms


See more synonyms for nacre on Thesaurus.com
  1. mother-of-pearl.
Show More

Origin of nacre

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin nacrum, nacer, variant of nacara < Old Italian naccara kind of drum, nacre < Arabic naqqārah drum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nacre

seed, jewel, nacre, margarite

Examples from the Web for nacre

Historical Examples of nacre

  • The value of the pearl is based on the brilliancy of the nacre, the size, and the form.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • The specimens collected by Mr. Schoolcraft, vary much in the color of the nacre.

  • The nacre of the columella and within the aperture is bluish-green, and the operculum is rich olive.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • If any one ask: Has not the self-conscious entity that underlies the illusion about nacre, &c., knowledge only for its nature?

  • Nacre is the hard and brilliant substance with which the valves of certain shells are lined in the interior.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for nacre


  1. the technical name for mother-of-pearl
Show More
Derived Formsnacred, adjective

Word Origin for nacre

C16: via French from Old Italian naccara, from Arabic naqqārah shell, drum
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 nacre


1590s, "type of shellfish that yields mother-of-pearl," from Middle French nacre (14c.), from Italian naccaro (now nacchera), possibly from Arabic naqur "hunting horn" (from nakara "to hollow out"), in reference to the shape of the mollusk shell. Meaning "mother-of-pearl" is from 1718.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nacre in Science


  1. See mother-of-pearl.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.