View synonyms for sapphire


[ saf-ahyuhr ]


  1. any gem variety of corundum other than the ruby, especially one of the blue varieties.
  2. a gem of this kind.
  3. the color of this gem, a deep blue.


  1. resembling sapphire; deep blue:

    a sapphire sky.


/ ˈsæfaɪə /


    1. any precious corundum gemstone that is not red, esp the highly valued transparent blue variety. A synthetic form is used in electronics and precision apparatus. Formula: Al 2 O 3
    2. ( as modifier )

      a sapphire ring

    1. the blue colour of sapphire
    2. ( as adjective )

      sapphire eyes


/ săfīr′ /

  1. A clear, fairly pure form of the mineral corundum that is usually blue but may be any color except red. It often contains small amounts of oxides of cobalt, chromium, and titanium and is valued as a gem.
  2. Compare ruby

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sapphire1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English saphir(e), saph(i)er, from Old French safir(e), saffir, saffer, from Latin sapphīrus, sappīrus, from Greek sáppheiros, perhaps “lapis lazuli, lazurite, sapphire,” probably from Semitic (compare Hebrew sappīr, and probably a loanword in Semitic); sappīr and related Semitic forms perhaps come from Sanskrit śanipuriya “dear to (the planet) Saturn,” equivalent to Śani “(the planet) Saturn” + priyá- “dear”; further origin uncertain

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sapphire1

C13 safir, from Old French, from Latin sapphīrus, from Greek sappheiros, perhaps from Hebrew sappīr, ultimately perhaps from Sanskrit śanipriya, literally: beloved of the planet Saturn, from śani Saturn + priya beloved

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Example Sentences

As the largest of the Great Lakes, the sapphire blue waters and waves of Lake Superior can often feel like a vast, unending ocean to a passing motorist.

What you are getting is TAG Heuer design and materials, like a steel watch body and a superhard sapphire touchscreen.

If you’re looking for those sapphire-hued lake vistas, you’ll want to leash up your pooch and take them for a stroll along the park’s quarter-mile paved promenade at Rim Village.

Something about the impossibly deep sapphire water carries an almost mystical quality that grabs you by the retinas and doesn’t let go.

My partner and I rented a houseboat, loaded up on groceries, and were soon cruising around a vast expanse of sapphire water flecked with small islands.

One Sapphire, Kay, falls for a black soldier, even as she struggles with her Aboriginal identity.

His highly acclaimed, and highly controversial, 2009 film, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, is a case in point.

“In my original notes I had that Precious would have a baby girl, then here comes this boy,” Sapphire says with a laugh.

Sapphire says that had she not already finished much of The Kid, the criticism would have “stopped me dead in my tracks.”

“The logical or realistic way this story would end up would be total disaster,” says Sapphire.

If you want to make a synthetic sapphire, you start with a seed sapphire, and the artificial process builds up on that.

Her Nazarites were whiter than snow, purer than milk, more ruddy than the old ivory, fairer than the sapphire.

Sometimes sky and sea have been steeped in dazzling haze of golden glare, sometimes brightened to blue of a sapphire depth.

She was sitting on a low divan, head bent, slowly turning a sapphire ring on her finger, round and round.

We proceeded moderately and sedately upon our shining way, skirting the sapphire sea, dotted here and there with green islands.


Related Words

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More About Sapphire

What does sapphire mean?

Sapphire is a transparent gemstone known for its deep-blue variety.

Sapphire belongs to the corundum family of minerals. Sapphires come in a variety of colors (including completely clear), but if a color is not specified, the word sapphire usually refers to the blue kind. This is the most well-known and is classified as a precious gem, meaning that it has a high commercial value. Some varieties of sapphire, like the one known as star sapphire, are considered even more valuable.

Sapphire is popular in jewelry. It is one of the birthstones for the month of September. It is associated with the zodiac sign of Taurus.

Some sapphires are synthetic, meaning they are manufactured, as opposed to being formed naturally. Due to its hardness, synthetic sapphire is used in a variety of practical applications, including as a material to make windows, lasers, and circuits. It is sometimes used as an abrasive, which is a material used for grinding and polishing.

The word sapphire is also sometimes used to refer to a deep-blue color.

Example: If I had the money, I’d buy that deep-blue sapphire ring.

Where does sapphire come from?

The first records of the word sapphire come from around the 1200s. It comes from the Greek sáppheiros, which may have referred to lapis lazuli, lazurite, or sapphire itself. The earlier Semitic form sappīr may come from the Sanskrit śanipuriya, meaning “dear to (the planet) Saturn.”

Sapphire occurs in many igneous rocks and is a variety of the mineral corundum, which is a form of aluminum oxide and is one of the hardest known substances. The red variety of corundum is known as a ruby, another precious gemstone. The blue coloring of sapphire is due to small amounts of iron and titanium.

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with sapphire

What are some words that often get used in discussing sapphire?

How is sapphire used in real life?

Sapphires are among the most popular and well-known gemstones. They’re especially known for their use in jewelry. Because the blue variety is so well-known, the word sapphire is also used to refer to that color.


Try using sapphire!

True or False?

Sapphires and rubies are different varieties of the same mineral.