[ toh-paz ]
/ ˈtoʊ pæz /


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.

Origin of topaz

1225–75; < Latin topazus < Greek tópazos; replacing Middle English topace < Old French < Latin, as above
Related formsto·paz·ine [toh-puh-zeen, -zin] /ˈtoʊ pəˌzin, -zɪn/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for topaz

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

Word Origin and History for topaz



colored crystalline gem, late 13c., from Old French topace (11c.), from Latin topazus, from Greek topazos, topazion, of obscure origin. Pliny says it was named for a remote island in the Red or Arabian Sea, where it was mined, but this might be folk etymology from Greek topazein "to divine, to try to locate;" linguists conjecture a connection with Sanskrit tapas "heat, fire." In the Middle Ages used for almost any yellow stone. To the Greeks and Romans, possibly yellow olivine or yellow sapphire. In modern science, fluo-silicate of aluminum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science 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.