[ toh-paz ]
/ ˈtoʊ pæz /
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a mineral, a fluosilicate of aluminum, usually occurring in prismatic orthorhombic crystals of various colors, and used as a gem.
either of two South American hummingbirds, Topaza pella or T. pyra, having chiefly red and crimson plumage and a yellowish-green throat with a topaz sheen.


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Origin of topaz

1225–75; <Latin topazus<Greek tópazos; replacing Middle English topace<Old French <Latin, as above


to·paz·ine [toh-puh-zeen, -zin], /ˈtoʊ pəˌzin, -zɪn/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does topaz mean?

Topaz is a transparent gemstone that comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, and purple.

Clear topaz is sometimes artificially treated to produce a blue color, among other colors. Topaz is commonly used in jewelry, especially its yellow and orange varieties.

As a gemstone, topaz is considered semiprecious, which is a label given to some gemstones that are not as valuable as those considered precious.

Topaz is the traditional birthstone for the month of November. It is sometimes confused with the other birthstone for November, citrine (sometimes known as false topaz or topaz quartz), due to having similar coloring in some cases. It is also sometimes confused with yellow sapphire for the same reason.

Example: Your ring is beautiful—is that purple topaz?

Where does topaz come from?

The first records of the word topaz in English come from the 1200s. It comes from the Latin topazus, from the Greek tópazos. It may be related to a Sanskrit word meaning “fire.”

Topaz is found around the world and most commonly occurs in igneous rocks. It is composed of hydrated aluminium silicate and is among the hardest minerals. The coloring of yellow topaz is due in part to the presence of iron.

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What are some other forms related to topaz?

  • topazine (adjective)

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

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

How is topaz used in real life?

Topaz is commonly used in jewelry. Some know it as the birthstone for the month of November.



Try using topaz!

True or False?

Topaz is only ever yellow.

How to use topaz in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for topaz

/ (ˈtəʊpæz) /

a white or colourless mineral often tinted by impurities, found in cavities in igneous rocks and in quartz veins. It is used as a gemstone. Composition: hydrated aluminium silicate. Formula: Al 2 SiO 4 (F,OH) 2 . Crystal structure: orthorhombic
oriental topaz a yellowish-brown variety of sapphire
false topaz another name for citrine
  1. a yellowish-brown colour, as in some varieties of topaz
  2. (as adjective)topaz eyes
either of two South American hummingbirds, Topaza pyra and T. pella

Word Origin for topaz

C13: from Old French topaze, from Latin topazus, from Greek topazos
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

Scientific definitions for topaz

[ tōpăz′ ]

A colorless, blue, yellow, brown, or pink orthorhombic mineral valued as a gem. Topaz occurs as transparent or translucent prisms in silica-rich igneous rocks, such as pegmatite, and in tin-bearing rock veins. Chemical formula: Al2SiO4(F,OH)2.
Any of various yellow gemstones, especially a yellow variety of sapphire or corundum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.