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noun am·e·thyst \ˈa-mə-thəst, -(ˌ)thist\

: a clear purple or bluish-purple stone that is used as a gem

: a medium purple color

Full Definition of AMETHYST

a :  a clear purple or bluish-violet variety of crystallized quartz that is often used as a jeweler's stone
b :  a deep purple variety of corundum
:  a moderate purple
am·e·thys·tine \ˌa-mə-ˈthis-tən\ adjective

Origin of AMETHYST

Middle English amatiste, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos, literally, remedy against drunkenness, from a- + methyein to be drunk, from methy wine — more at mead
First Known Use: 13th century
AMETHYST Defined for Kids


noun am·e·thyst \ˈa-mə-thəst\

Definition of AMETHYST for Kids

:  a clear purple or bluish violet quartz used as a gem

Word History of AMETHYST

People once believed that amethysts could cure drunkenness. The ancient Greeks gave the stone a name that reflected this belief. The Greek name was formed from a prefix that meant not and a verb that meant to be drunk. This verb came from a Greek word that meant wine. The English word amethyst came from the Greek name for the stone.


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